A healthy diet and exercise can help you to safeguard your heart. Take charge with daily exercise for a healthy heart.
While you might think it’s too late to start exercising, there’s no such thing. Those who are least active stand to see the most benefits for their physical and mental health by getting more active. At least 30 minutes of moderate intensity training daily can significantly boost your heart health.
The health benefits of walking are well documented. It is low impact and safe, making it a great option for all lifestyles and levels of mobility. It can be easy to plan a walk into your day, and it can be done solo or socially.
Regardless of the pace at which you swim, swimming is recommended for maintaining heart health. The water is easy on your joints while providing resistance; resistance training is proven to be key in cardiovascular health. Swimming works your heart in the same way as walking and cycling yet the coolness of the water will stop you from feeling like you are overheating.
Because it uses large muscle groups, cycling is one of the recommended exercises for rehab and secondary prevention of heart disease. Cycling is also perfect for stiff or sore joints: it limits impact stress on weight-bearing joints, like hips, knees, and feet. Plus, the movement helps lubricate the joints, which reduces pain and stiffness.
If you’ve got a bit of a green thumb, we have good news – gardening improves cardio- respiratory fitness! While you’re pottering about in the garden and most likely not noticing the light sweat you’re working up, gardening is an easy way of building a long-term exercise habit.
Yoga is a fantastic low-impact exercise for heart health because it improves your range of motion and flexibility, as well as lowering the risk of heart complications. There are different styles available, so sample a few and see what works for your fitness and needs.
Resistance training is now widely accepted as an important part of exercise for those with heart conditions, and should be done along with a regular cardio training schedule. Often performed as body weight exercises, calisthenics is a form of resistance training that can be done with little to no equipment in the comfort of your own home. You can vary the nature and intensity of these workouts according to your needs. Calisthenics improves muscular strength and endurance, thus improving coronary risk factors.
If your muscles or joints hurt the next day, this may be a sign you need to dial it back and allow for some recovery. Check with your doctor if the pain continues. If you experience the following symptoms, it is important that you let your doctor know:
- Pain in the chest.
- Feeling light-headed.
- Breathing difficulty.
- An irregular or fast heartbeat.
Your doctor may be able to suggest alternative exercises, or ways of adapting based on your needs. Always talk with your health professional before starting any exercise program.