February is National Heart Health Month and if you’re looking to maintain a healthy heart, regular physical activity, and cardio exercises are steps in the right direction. According to the National Heart Association, regular physical activity helps lower blood pressure, improve blood sugar, and control body weight, all of which can help decrease your risk for heart disease.
At The Becoming Center, professionally trained exercise physiologists understand the importance of physical activity and the role it plays in maintaining a healthy heart. Today, they’re sharing five cardio exercises for all fitness levels that can help you maintain and improve your heart’s health. Director of The Becoming Center, Anthony Byers, wants to remind you that before you begin any exercise program, you should consult your doctor or seek professional assistance from an exercise physiologist and/or personal trainer.
1. Interval Training
This type of cardio exercise alternates between short bursts of high-intensity training with longer periods of active recovery. As your heart rate progressively speeds up and slows down, you can burn significant calories and improve the function of your blood vessels. Interval training is especially effective for those who have busy schedules as you can achieve the same physical benefits of a full-sized workout in a quarter of the time. There are plenty of ways to practice interval training. Incorporate this exercise into your morning jog outside or on the treadmill. Run at a fast pace for thirty seconds to a minute and then slowly jog for the next four. Repeat the cycle until you’ve reached your desired distance.
2. Weight Training
Weight training is a type of strength training that uses weights as resistance. While many people associate this type of exercise with a bench press and heavy dumbbells, your own body weight can provide sufficient resistance to strengthen and tone your muscles. Bodyweight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, tricep dips and more can be a great way to build muscle, burn fat, and promote a healthy heart.
An engaging full-body workout, swimming is a fun cardio exercise that greatly benefits your heart’s health. Great for individuals with joint pain, the buoyancy of the water can help you move easily while strengthening muscles and burning calories. The Becoming Center is home to a heated therapeutic pool with weekly water aerobics classes as well as daily open swim hours. Whether you’re doing laps, or enjoying a class, The Becoming Center is the perfect place to test the waters and dive right in.
Riding a bike, stationary or outdoors, is an effective aerobic exercise that gets your blood flowing and body moving. Cycling can sufficiently elevate your heart rate while strengthening muscles in your legs and core. Go to a local park on a sunny day and try this heart-healthy exercise with friends or family. Riding a bike can be a simple way to make exercise enjoyable.
If you’re struggling to incorporate physical activity into your regular routine, walking is a simple solution. With no equipment needed, except for a suitable pair of shoes, walking can be done essentially anywhere at any time. Ask one of your colleagues to go for a walk on your lunch break or take your dog to the local park. Walking is an easy way to maintain your activity level and promote your heart health along the way.
The Becoming Center hopes that these cardio exercises can inspire you to maintain and improve your heart health. If you’re looking to step up your fitness routine, explore The Becoming Center’s wide variety of exercise and wellness programs. Their exercise physiologists and certified nutritionists create personalized services to help you reach your unique health and fitness goals. Imagine becoming a stronger, healthier you. The Becoming Center can help you get there.