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Exercises to Improve Heart Health

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Exercises to Improve Heart Health

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Being physically active on a regular basis can help you control your blood pressure and lower your risk of heart attack or developing heart disease.

Medically reviewed by

Jani Hemang Sudhakarbhai

Published At July 26, 2022
Reviewed AtMarch 26, 2024

Why Is Heart Health Important?

Regular exercise reduces your risk of suffering a heart attack or developing heart disease. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and being overweight are all risk factors for heart disease, and staying active can help you manage them. It can make you feel more energized, joyful, and relaxed.

What Are the Best Exercises for the Heart and Overall Health?

Being active throughout the day is a way to burn more calories, and these people are generally healthier than individuals who work out for 30 to 60 minutes and then sit at a computer.

Interval Training:

This is unmatched in terms of reducing heart disease and diabetes, lowering weight, and improving fitness quickly. Short high-intensity exercises are alternated with slightly longer periods of active rest. If you are a walker, you may alternate 3 minutes of normal walking with 1 minute of rapid walking. Raising and lowering your heart rate on a regular basis increases vascular function, burns calories, and improves the body's ability to remove fat and sugar from the blood.

Weight Training:

In some ways, this is similar to interval training. During reps, your heart rate rises, and between sets, your heart rate drops. Strong muscles reduce the overall stress on the heart by efficiently handling the demands imposed on them. Use free weights to stimulate more muscles, strengthen your core, and improve your balance.

Core Workouts:

Pilates strengthens my core muscles and promotes flexibility and balance, it also helps me live better. You need a strong foundation to work out intensely, carry groceries upstairs, and do a lot of other activities.

Yoga:

Its calming effect decreases blood pressure, increases blood vessel elasticity, and improves heart health. It also strengthens your core.

Total-Body, Non-Impact Sports:

The harder your heart has to work to power all of the muscles engaged in an activity, the stronger it becomes. Rowing, swimming, cross-country skiing, and pole walking are all exercises that stimulate muscles throughout the body without overworking them. With some intervals mixed in, you have got yourself a great workout.

What Exercises Are Not Good if You Are a Beginner or Have Cardiac Problems?

Long-distance running on the pavement generates a variety of aches and pains. While running in this manner strengthens the heart, but exhausts the body. Any form of strenuous exercise for which you have not prepared, such as shoveling snow or riding a bike at top speed. The release of too much adrenaline might cause a heart attack in people who are susceptible. Similarly, never engage in strenuous exercise without warming up. Last but not least, do not even allow science to determine how you exercise. Swimming is excellent for you, according to research, but if you do not really enjoy it, do not do it. Find something enjoyable to do on a regular basis. Your mood will be boosted as well.

What Are the Benefits of Doing Exercise?

One of the important causes of heart disease is a sedentary lifestyle. Fortunately, it is a risk factor over which you have control. Regular exercise, particularly aerobic activity, provides numerous advantages.

It can:

  • Strengthen your heart and cardiovascular system.

  • Improve muscle tone and strength.

  • Make you look fit and feel healthy.

  • Improve balance and joint flexibility.

  • Strengthen bones.

  • Help reduce stress, tension, anxiety, and depression.

  • Boost self-image and self-esteem.

  • Improve sleep.

  • Make you feel more relaxed and rested.

  • Improve your circulation so that your body can use oxygen better.

  • Improve your heart failure symptoms.

  • Lower blood pressure.

  • Increasing energy levels helps you do more activities without becoming tired or short of breath.

  • Increase endurance.

  • Help reduce body fat and maintain a healthy weight.

How Often Should I Exercise for a Healthy Heart?

You should gradually start with an aerobic workout lasting 20 to 30 minutes at least three to four times a week to get the maximum benefits. You can maintain a regular aerobic exercise schedule by exercising every other day.

What Should I Add to My Exercise Routine For Better Heart Health?

Every exercise session must include a warm-up, conditioning phase, and a cool-down.

Warm-Up:

This allows your body to smoothly transform from rest to exercise mode. Warming up relieves stress on the heart and muscles by gradually increasing breathing, circulation, and body temperature. It also aids in the improvement of flexibility and the reduction of muscle soreness. Stretching, range-of-motion exercises, and starting the activity at a low-intensity level are all good warm-ups.

Conditioning:

This follows after the warm-up. The benefits of exercise are obtained, and calories are burned during the conditioning phase. Make sure to keep an eye on the activity's intensity. Do not go overboard.

Cool-Down:

This is the final part of your workout. It permits your body to recover from the conditioning phase in a progressive manner. Your blood pressure and heart rate will gradually return to normal levels. After exercising, do not sit, stand still, or lie down. You may feel dizzy, lightheaded, or have heart palpitations as a result of this. The easiest way to cool down is to gradually reduce the intensity of your workout. You can also repeat some of the stretching exercises from the warm-up phase.

What Exercises Can Be Done for Better Heart Health?

Warming up should be the first step in every workout. Before beginning any workout program, consult your doctor. If any of the mentioned exercises cause you pain, stop doing them and seek medical or physical therapy guidance. Maintain proper posture when doing these workouts. Maintain a straight back; do not slouch or curve your back. Always your movements should be slow and controlled. Avoid jerky and rapid movements. While doing these exercises, do not hold your breath.

The following are some exercises that can be done:

  • Knee straightening.

  • Ankle pumping.

  • Hip bending.

  • Overhead reaching.

  • Shoulder touching.

  • Single-arm lifts.

  • Shoulder shrugs.

  • Arm circles single.

  • shoulder circles.

Stretching should always be done while finishing every workout session. Make sure your motions are regulated and slow while doing these exercises. Avoid jerky, rapid movements. Stretch your body parts until you feel a mild pull on your muscle. It is important to hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds without bouncing or generating pain. During these cool-down exercises, do not hold your breath.

The following are some of the stretching exercises:

  • Hamstring stretch.

  • Quadriceps stretch.

  • Calf stretch.

  • Calf stretches on stairs.

  • Knee pull.

  • Groin stretch.

  • Overhead arm pulls.

  • Behind the back arm raised.

  • Side bends.

  • Double shoulder circles.

  • Leg circles.

Conclusion:

Aerobics, strength training, and flexibility activities can help you maintain a healthy heart and lower your risk of heart disease. Regular workouts may also help to reverse the effects of inactivity on the cardiovascular system. At least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week is recommended by general guidelines. However, before beginning a new fitness routine, consult your physician.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

Can You Strengthen a Weak Heart With Exercise?

Exercise helps strengthen heart muscles. When having heart disease, regular exercise helps strengthen the weak heart muscles. Regular exercise also helps you stay active without minor ailments like chest pain. It also lowers cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

2.

Which Exercise Is Good for Heart and Lungs?

Exercises that boost pumping are encouraged for heart health. These include brisk walking, jumping, running, swimming, cycling, playing tennis, and other aerobic activities. These exercises strengthen heart muscles to function properly.

3.

Which Drink Is Best for the Heart?

Water is considered the best drink for the heart. Water is the best drink to cool the body if the weather is warm. Moderate amounts of unflavoured milk, tea, and coffee can be consumed. However, water is the best drink for heart health.

4.

How Do You Maintain a Weak Heart?

- Exercise is the best way to strengthen weak heart muscles. 
- Have a balanced diet. 
- Avoid sitting idle for long hours. 
- Quit alcohol and smoking. 
- Try to avoid stress as much as possible.

5.

How Do You Know If Your Heart Is Fine?

An ECG (electrocardiogram) helps to understand whether the heart functions properly. It reflects the heart's electrical activity in different areas of the heart. It also helps identify the areas that do not function properly. It is a painless procedure and takes about 15 minutes to complete.

6.

Which Yoga Is Best for the Heart?

Yoga helps to lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure and strengthens heart muscles. It also helps reduce stress and strengthens the heart muscles. Pranayama is a deep breathing exercise that can help to improve heart health.

7.

Can Walking Reduce Heart Blockage?

Each step benefits the heart. It strengthens the heart and lowers cholesterol levels and blood pressure levels. Hence, it reduces the risk associated with heart blocks.

8.

What Is a Healthy Heart Rate?

The heart rate of a healthy adult can range from 60 to 100 bpm while at rest. Heart rate can change every minute. It also depends on age, sex, and other health factors.

9.

Which Food Is Good for the Heart?

Berries are considered one of the best foods for heart health. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc., are packed with nutrients that support heart health. They are also rich in antioxidants like anthocyanins, which help to protect against the inflammation that contributes to the development of heart disease.

10.

Does Holding Breath Increase Stamina?

Yes, holding your breath for a certain period helps to increase stamina. While holding breath, the brain continues to signal the breathing muscles to contract. It is an isometric contraction during the breath hold. This strengthens the muscles, enabling them to work harder with less effort.
Jani Hemang Sudhakarbhai
Jani Hemang Sudhakarbhai

Physiotherapy

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heart healthexercise
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