Simple Exercises for Your Heart
In honor of Valentine’s Day next week, we wanted to share some simple exercises to keep your heart healthy and pumping for many Valentine’s Days to come! After all, there’s more to celebrating Valentine’s Day than just eating chocolate, right? No? Well, we’re still giving you the advice, anyway. It’s valuable year-round, after all.
Of course, when you think of heart exercises, your brain probably pictures a treadmill. There’s a reason for that. According to Bronson Health, “Running 30 minutes a few times per week helps reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the ‘bad’ type of cholesterol, and increases the high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the ‘good’ type of cholesterol.” As long as you’ve got both your legs and a killer playlist, running is a great exercise for anyone “on the move” (pun intended). Or, if you want a more in-depth approach, most treadmills offer specific readings that relate to your heart health after an exercise session.
Want to add some extra fun layers to your movement therapy? Look no further than swimming or cycling. The health experts at UPMC agreed with us by saying, “Walking, swimming, dancing, and riding a bike are all excellent ways to achieve these goals.” If running isn’t your style, believe us, you are not alone; swimming or cycling are great alternatives with similar benefits.
Does that sound like too much for you as well? Maybe you’ve got some bad knees, or you’re just really not interested in sweating up a storm? Yoga might be the answer for you to get in a heart workout while enjoying low-intensity exercise. Johns Hopkins Medicine claims, “Practicing yoga may help lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood glucose levels, as well as heart rate, making it a useful lifestyle intervention.” If you’re looking for a stress-relieving exercise that offers a plethora of benefits for your cardiovascular health, yoga might be the solution.
The Best Secret Weapon
Long-time readers of our blog likely already know where we’re going with this, but it still bears repeating. Walking is an incredible, portable, low-intensity, and high-benefit exercise. So many people underestimate the impact that taking a quick 30-minute walk will yield, especially if you are not physically active in other areas of your life. In fact, according to the Heart Foundation (but what do they know, right?), “Walking for an average of 30 minutes or more a day can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke by 35% percent and Type 2 diabetes by 40%.” If you still need an excuse to walk more, many apps and smart technology tools are available that incentivize you to get those steps in. We truly can’t recommend it enough.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, use all the heart-shaped items you encounter on your next trip to the grocery store as a reminder that you should take care of that little pumping tool in your chest. You won’t regret it.