Heart healthy workouts can take quite a few different forms depending on your age and strength level. In the summer months, it’s easy to gain weight during vacation, BBQ’s and long weekends. Extra weight can add stress to your heart and make the difference between being at risk and struggling with heart disease. Let’s break down 3 types of exercise for all levels and discuss their heart benefits.
Aerobic Heart Healthy Workouts
Also known as cardio, Aerobic exercises are the most well-known of heart-healthy workouts. This usually means you’re moving fast and increasing your heart rate. Many people push cardio very hard only to put to much stress on their heart. No matter your exercise level you should be able to talk while doing cardio. Even if speaking is hard, it’s a good marker that you’re not overdoing it. So who should be doing what cardio?
Advanced (extremely fit)- Running or jogging or distance biking
Intermediate ( moderately fit)- Try power walking with ankle weights or a stair stepper
Beginner/Low Impact (new to exercising or working with injuries)- Swimming and distance hiking.
Stretching For Heart Healthy Exercise
Flexibility is important to heart health. Body flexibility is correlated with artery flexibility. As we age our arteries, ligaments and muscles tend to stiffen. Stretching 3-5 times a week for 20+ minutes can improve blood flow, reduce muscle pain, and give you a better range of aerobic exercises.
Advanced/Intermediate/Beginner can all enjoy the same stretched. Depending on your flexibility you may find yourself in a certain position for longer or be able to go deeper. Remember that it’s not about how far your push your stretching, it’s about consistency. Don’t push yourself past comfort to prevent injuries.
See some American Heart Association Recommended Stretches Below or Click Here.
Strength Training For Heart Healthy Workouts
Strength training is extremely heart healthy because it tends to burn fat better than cardio or stretching. When you build muscle, it may be heavier than fat, but it burns up fat. You can use weights or even just body fat. If you’re new to strength training aim on only 2 days per week and follow with stretches.
Advanced– Weight/Power Lifting and Advanced Body Weight Classes like high-level Yoga and boxing.
Intermediate– Resistance bands and assisted weight lifting on machines
Beginner/Low Impact– Into Flow Yoga and Pilates