3 Types of Exercise That Create a Healthy Heart

in Risk Factors

You’ve probably heard that exercise is important for a healthy heart, and that’s absolutely true! But did you know that not all exercise is created equal? While any sort of exercise is better than none, to truly have a healthy heart, and a great quality of life, there are three kinds of exercise you should work into your regular routine. Here’s what they are, and what they do.

#1: Aerobic Exercise

What It Does

You know all that deep breathing you do while exercising? That’s a sign you’re developing a healthy heart! During exercise you increase the flow of oxygen into the bloodstream, your heart rate and blood flow increases, and your capillaries widen to get all that great oxygen to the muscles you’re working out. All this increased blood flow gets rid of waste in the bloodstream too, like lactic acid or carbon dioxide. Your brain will even release your body’s natural painkillers, endorphins, which help regulate your mental health and wellness.

Why Is It Important?

There are dozens of reasons, but one of the biggest is this: a healthy heart is a strong heart, and a heart becomes stronger when it’s forced to beat fast. When you exercise, you’re not just building leg or arm muscles, you’re building a healthy heart too!

But there are so many other benefits of aerobic exercise as well. Aerobic exercise helps keep your weight stabilized, increases your stamina, fights off illnesses, reduces chronic health problems, improves your mood, helps you stay mobile (and independent!) as you grow older, and keeps your arteries clear. In other words, aerobic exercise does a lot of things, and key among them is having a healthy heart.

How To Do It?

Anything that gets your heart pumping fast qualifies! This could be brisk walking, running, cycling, dancing, water aerobics, jumping rope, sports like tennis, soccer, pickup basketball, or dozens of other options. The most important thing isn’t how you do it, but how long you do it. The key is to get at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week, or if you prefer, 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week.

#2: Resistance Training

What it Does

Simply put, resistance training builds muscle, which helps create a healthy heart. Resistance training, which can include everything from sit ups and pull ups, to free weights, resistance bands or weight machines, helps increase your muscle mass and lower your overall fat. It can help raise your good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol, and can decrease the fat surrounding the heart itself.

Why Is It Important?

For some people, aerobic training can feel boring, while resistance training feels more rewarding. Some medical research suggests that resistance training carries nearly all the benefits of aerobic exercise, as long as the heart stays elevated over a period of time.

In addition, resistance training builds a stronger frame for your body, encourages increased activity, gives you more energy, and generally promotes a healthy lifestyle! All of which are great for a healthy heart.

How To Do It?

Go to your local gym and start using the machines! Hire a trainer to teach you how to properly use your free weights, or watch online videos that demonstrate proper technique. Again, the key here is more quantity than specifics: if you are exercising at least 150 minutes a week, you will be forming a healthy heart, and a healthy lifestyle.

#3: Stretching, Balance, and Flexibility

What It Does

Stretching and flexibility exercises actually have less to do with a healthy heart, and more to do with a healthy body. These exercises primarily benefit your musculoskeletal health, which helps fight symptoms such as cramping, joint pain, or a whole host of other muscular issues.

Why Is It Important?

So why are we including this exercise in an article about a healthy heart? Simply put, stretching, balance, and flexibility keep your body healthy enough to do aerobic and resistance exercises. It’s hard to run if your joints and muscles aren’t working! By exercising your flexibility, you are keeping your body working properly, so that you’re able to live an active lifestyle.

How To Do It?

There are several sources you can look to for this. Your doctor can recommend a series of stretches you can perform every morning, or you can turn to YouTube and look up stretching exercises that target specific areas of pain or tightness.

You can also get out into your community and explore pilates, Tai Chi, yoga, or various other classes that focus on stretching and flexibility. Developing a healthy heart is one of the most important habits you can form in life, and we’re here to help! TrustCare Heart Clinic offers all sorts of options to help you move toward a lifelong healthy heart. For instance, you can set up a heart screening with us today that will show you your blood pressure, BMI, and other important numbers. Schedule your heart screening today and learn more about the services at TrustCare Heart Clinic.

Let Us Help You Feel Better Faster™

Our goal is to provide quality care, get you in and out within 1 hour, and help you Feel Better Faster™.