Exercise for a Healthy Heart
Fit in a healthy diet with other heart healthy measures - exercise, weight control, and stress management. You may not care about increasing your strength. "Firm, abs" may be the last thing on your mind and even if you don't know your biceps from your bicuspids, there's one muscle you should never ignore- your heart. If you want to avoid heart disease -- or are recovering from heart trouble -- a little sweat can work wonders.
Top 4 Exercise for a Healthy Heart
1. Running : Running is always more efficient than walking as you are pushing your entire body weight forward which will quickly elevate your heart rate. Start slowly where you warm up for 15 minutes and build your pace. At the end of 15 minutes you can then increase your pace to 50 to 80% of your maximum heart rate. Remember to cool down after your run by slowing your pace. Even if you have never run before, start slowly and build the distance each week as this is an excellent aerobic exercise for the heart.
2. Weight Training : This will prevent your body from loosing muscle mass. As you continue to weight train the muscle you build will help your burn fat and stay leaner which will help your heart.
3. Swimming : A great exercise which is non impact based and yet raises the heart. If you ever have an injury or running does not work for you, head to the pool and get your workout. In swimming, the entire body muscles are used. To increase intensity of the swim, you can use hand paddles and flippers.
4. Cycling: Bike is another non impact sport and yet tough to do. Biking uses large muscles groups of your hamstrings and quadriceps and keep your muscles toned. Going uphill will make you push your heart rate up and give you an excellent work out.
So think positively and start getting fit. It takes time, effort and a little pain but you have everything to gain in return. Find some tasty and healthy heart recipes we have handpicked for you.
It's never too late to begin. Get started now.....
“I am too busy”
“I am too old to start a exercise regime”
“I can’t wake up early in the morning” and soon…..
Excuse us from these outdated excuses!!
In fact, you are never too old to get started and good work management will definitely permit some time for exercising. Regardless of your age, gender and role in life you can benefit from regular exercise. Here are some overall benefits of a regular exercise regime.
General benefits of exercise
• good, energetic start to the day
• an active lifestyle
• weight control
• less mental stress and ‘bye-bye’ to depression
• improved quality of sleep
• good posture
• toned muscles
• improved self image and hence, self esteem
• decreased susceptibility to diseases
Along with the general benefits of exercise mentioned above, it is a long proven fact that daily physical activity strengthens the muscles of the heart, thus improving the heart’s efficiency to pump blood to all parts of the body. An active lifestyle also helps to increase the HDL levels (good cholesterol) and decrease the LDL levels (bad cholesterol), thus decreasing the risk of heart disease further.
Now the question that would spring in most minds is, “Which activity is best for me?”
It is wisest to choose a form of exercise comfortable to your lifestyle. If you have been inactive for a while, you may start with less strenuous activities such as a brisk walk or a swim at a comfortable pace. Beginning at a slow pace will allow you to become fit without straining your body. Once you are in a better shape, you can gradually move to other types of exercise. Feel free to indulge in a game you enjoy, like tennis, badminton etc. It is advisable to plan a regular exercise regime, best suited to your body and lifestyle. Doing so under your doctor’s supervision will ensure an effective regime and help to avoid complications. Do remember that your doctor is the best person to confirm your medical fitness and help you choose a form of exercise that is suitable for your activity level, age and general health.
For the overall health benefit, experts recommend that you exercise 20 to 30 minutes on all or most days of the week and also spend some time in stretching activity at least twice a week.
Think you don’t have time to exercise and stretch? Try the following ideas to ease your problem. You don't have to live at the gym to protect your heart. Instead of thinking in terms of a rigid exercise programme in the morning, you can even try and incorporate it in your day-to-day lifestyle. Remember that muscles used in any activity and at any time of the day contribute to fitness. You can give your heart a boost simply by just working a little more with extra movements and stretching a couple of times as discussed below:
• Taking the stairs instead of an elevator.
• Do household work to fast music. It will ensure that your work quickly thus burning more calories.
• Park the car at the far end of the parking lot and walk to the office or store.
• Schedule stretching and small walks during breaks at work.
• Make more than one trip to the laundry or grocery store as a form of exercise.
• Get off public transportation a few blocks away for destination.
• Take a brisk walk when you have an urge to snack.
• Wash your car yourself. It’s relaxing a also a good form of exercise.
• Take your dog for a walk.
Most people get excited at the thought of an exercise regime initially, and do embark on it. However, soon the rigmarole of life catches up and people cannot continue to follow their exercise regime. However, you must remember that the key to a ‘Heart healthy’ fitness for a lifetime is “consistency”. It is only when exercise finds a permanent place in your life that you would succed in achieving your goal...a good overall health, free from any ailment. But do listen to your body, if you find difficulty whilw exercising, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.
Here are a few tips to help you make exercise a habit….
• Set realistic goals.
• Choose an activity you enjoy.
• Begin with a slow pace and gradually increase the intensity
• Give your body a chance to adjust to the new routine.
• Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results.
• Don’t give up if you miss a day due to some unavoidable reason. Get back to the schedule the next day.
• Find a partner, if possible, for exercising, as it helps in motivation and socialization.
Find some tasty and healthy heart recipes we have handpicked for you below. Stay fit and healthy.