With Valentine’s Day approaching and American Heart Month in full-swing, February is brimming with reminders about the heart. Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming the lives of approximately 610,000 people annually! That’s a scary number, but did you know that just 30 minutes of daily exercise can reduce your chance of heart disease by 30% – 40% (and your chance of stroke by 20%)? Here are some of the best heart-healthy exercises to show your heart some love this February.
Walking is one of the best – and easiest – ways to get your heart pumping. A recent study showed that moderate-intensity walking can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol as much as vigorous running! To reap the heart-healthy benefits of walking, keep your walk brisk and works towards walking on an incline, whether it’s inclining your treadmill or tackling that dreaded hill in your neighborhood. Walk for at least 30 minutes and add some light hand weights for an extra challenge.
(P.S. Try our 30-minute “Indoor Walking Workout” M/W/F @ 9:00 am EST!)
Swimming is a joint-friendly way to boost heart health without any impact on the joints. The large, rhythmic movements required in swimming are a great way to strengthen your heart and lungs. Best of all, the CDC reports that swimmers have about a 50% lower chance of death than sedentary folks. So, what are you waiting for? Dust off that swim cap!
High-Intensity Interval training (HIIT) involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by brief rest periods. Heart-pumping HIIT workouts are quick and effective. Research shows that this type of training can improve heart health in less time.. (Always consult with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine).
(Check out our HIIT class, Wednesdays @ 6:30 pm EST!)
Whether you’re walking, swimming, dancing, biking, running, or rowing, any aerobic activity can help strengthen your heart. So, send your heart a Valentine this February. Find an aerobic activity you enjoy and dedicate yourself to 30 minutes of exercise daily. Your heart will thank you!