Exercising for a healthy heart

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At times we get caught up with work and tend to ignore our health and more importantly our heart. Most of us feel that we are still young, don’t have any problems and seem perfectly fit, so why should we take out that extra time to work out.

Well, we may seem perfectly fit from the outside, but lack of exercise may just lead us on the path of an unhealthy heart.

It is a well-known fact that exercise is an excellent means of preventing heart diseases and keeping your heart healthy and fit. It helps in increasing HDL (good) cholesterol, decreasing LDL (bad) cholesterol, control the blood sugar levels and increase the cardiovascular endurance. All this leads to a fit and healthy heart.

Exercise plays a vital role in keeping your heart healthy. It improves ones blood flow, cardiovascular endurance as well as the oxygen intake of the heart.

All that is required is spending 45 minutes per day doing some form of exercise, for a healthy heart. Some of the benefits exercising provides are:

Cardiovascular or aerobic:

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These exercises help strengthen the heart and the lungs along with improving the body’s oxygen intake. Any exercise which involves continuous movement of the large muscle groups for more than 10 minutes are cardiovascular exercises.

One should at least invest 60 minutes of their time per week for such movements. Aerobic exercises not only help improve one’s breathing but also help in decreasing the heart rate and blood pressure at rest along with improving ones endurance.

Some forms of cardiovascular exercises include walking, jogging, cycling, cross trainer or step up machines, aerobics and water aerobics. It is important to devote at least 20 to 30 minutes of your time for non-stop aerobic or cardiovascular activities five times a week.

Stretching:

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Stretching helps improve the muscles flexibility and range of motion. Stretching the arms and legs before and after exercising helps prepare the muscles for activity and prevents injury and muscle strain. Five minutes spent on stretching after your warm up and cool down is essential.

Strengthening:

Resistance training helps make the heart stronger. Strength training helps maintain muscle while losing fat. Because of this, it is an important part of a weight management program. It helps prevent your metabolism from slowing down and may even cause it to speed up. The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn throughout the course of a day.

Circuit training:

Circuit training is a form of weight training which is slowly gaining popularity and is a blend of resistance training and cardio aerobic activities.

This involves 10-12 light weight bearing exercises performed in a circuit, continuously one after the other. This helps boosting the cardiovascular strength and mechanism and is extremely beneficial for those people who have a shortage of time as it lasts only 30 minute.