Whether you want to be proactive about your heart health, or you have doctor’s orders to change your lifestyle, there are ways we can all improve our heart health.
Some people have struggled with hypertension at ages as young as the twenties. While genetics certainly contribute, people can take charge of their heart health before it gets out of hand. With heart disease being the number one leading cause of death in the world, we should all take our cardiovascular health seriously.
There is no one size fits all to fitness, and for those beginning it is important to start slow.
If you have been sedentary for a while and are ready to make a change to better your health, it probably would not be a good idea to start by running a marathon first. Besides, that would be a very discouraging start. Instead, it would be best to start slowly. Of course, consult your doctor before beginning any exercise routine. They can help to determine your specific needs in a workout regimen. In addition, a doctor can check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels to get an idea of your overall heart health. If they discover increased blood pressure and higher levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), further testing may be done to analyze your heart health.
For example, a doctor may decide to run an electrocardiogram (ECG). ECG Interpretation can help to determine any problems with your heart such as arrhythmia, in which the heart beats irregularly. If a doctor determines that you are at increased risk for heart disease (e.g. high blood pressure), they may recommend exercise to help decrease that risk.
Here are a few exercises that can help you start improving your cardiovascular health.
Several several studies have shown that walking improves cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attack. This is a simple way to get into working out, especially for beginners. Walking is a non-intimidating way for anybody to start improving their heart health. For some extra motivation, find a walking partner so that you can encourage one another in your fitness journeys.
Summer is a great time to cool off by jumping in the pool to go for a swim. Although if you’re up for it, there are plenty of year-round gyms where you can take a swim anytime of the year.
Swimming is a wonderful low-impact activity if you want to avoid being harsh on your joints. In addition, swimming is an awesome cardio workout that can burn up to 500 calories in an hour. This is a great activity that doesn’t have to feel like exercise.
If you’re the more competitive type, then maybe taking up racquetball to help get in some cardio is right for you. This sport is an awesome way to burn calories, improve your heart health, and lean into your competitive side.
Racquetball involves coordination, flexibility, and strategy. Several health clubs will lend you some equipment for the day to pick up a game and try out this sport. If you find that racquetball is for you, there are several leagues that you could get involved in as a recreational hobby. Not only would this be a great way to improve your heart health, but being involved in a racquetball league can foster friendships. This way, even when there’s not an official game to play, you could still pick up a game with a racquetball buddy.
Riding your bike is a great way to get outside and enjoy the weather. If you live close to your place of work, it could also be a way to save on gas money while getting in some exercise.
Biking is a low-impact activity that strengthens your heart and improves your lungs. If you want to keep cycling year-round, stationary bikes are a great option if you’re not up for biking in cold weather.
Here are just a few options to get started, so try them out and see what exercises you enjoy.
Staying active is a great way to prevent heart disease. For more information on preventing heart disease and the factors which contribute to heart disease, check out this New York Times article that explains why it’s important to stay physically active.