Diet-to-Go Blog
  1. Heart Healthy Exercises

    With Valentine’s Day just around the corner we thought it only fitting to focus this blog on showing our own hearts some love with an article on heart healthy exercises. Our hearts are constantly working for us; it’s time for us to give back.

    Exercising your heart muscle really just means exercising your body. You don’t need any fancy equipment or a gym, just a bit of motivation and the willingness to get moving.

    As we’ve discussed before, there is debate about how much exercise we really need each day. But a good goal is to shoot for at least 30 minutes every day. And this can be done all at once, or split up throughout the day. Obviously if you are trying to build endurance or are training for a specific athletic event, your workout will need to be significantly more intense. But for the average person just trying to show their heart some love, 30 minutes of heart healthy exercise a day is perfect.

    Great Heart Healthy Exercises 

    So you know running, biking and walking in the great outdoors are wonderful heart healthy exercises, but what if none of those appeal to you? No problem, there are plenty of other wonderful ways to get your heart pumping.

    Many of the Wii games (like Just Dance) or the Kinect fitness games are great options: you get to play and strengthen your heart all at the same time.

    Or, maybe you get inspired by exercising in a group setting. Most fitness clubs offer a variety of cardio classes such as step, dance or boot camp. Try out as many different classes as you can. You'll eventually find the class type and schedule that works for you. And chances are, over time you'll make friends and find yourself becoming hooked on a particular class or at the very least the social aspect of it. And research has shown that being social can be just as beneficial to your heart health as exercise. 

    And, if group exercising just isn't your thing, there's always the cardio machines like treadmills, stairclimbers and stationary bikes. 

    More Heart Healthy Activities

    • Stairs. You don’t need a stair machine, just walk up and down your stairs. If your home doesn’t have a staircase, go to the local mall, and walk their stairs. Plus there, you’ll get the added bonus of fun people watching.
    • Jump rope. Jumping rope is a cheap, fun and effective way to get in shape fast! Just a few minutes at a time make a big impact.
    • Dance. Again, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home (although going out dancing can be fun). But if you’re feeling shy, simply close the curtains, turn on the stereo and get moving.
    • Swim. Just because you don’t sweat in the pool, you are still working your heart hard when you swim. Check out a local school, gym or even the Y, most have nice pools just waiting for you to dive in.

    When it comes down to it, the options for heart healthy exercises are endless. You just have to get moving. Your heart will love you for it.

    Author: Sue Ridgeway

    Overall Health & Nutrition
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