We come across the word heart so many times, in poetries, movies and day-to-day conversations. And why not? After all, it’s the symbol of love. However, do you know that according to the World Heart Federation, Heart Diseases are the world’s leading cause of death, killing 17.5 million people per year? Don’t you think you have a responsibility of keeping it healthy? After all, it pumps blood for you 24x7, without taking any rest. Overeating, lack of exercise, unhealthy diets and high blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels are all factors which can trigger heart disease and threaten our lives. So, this World Heart Day let us take a pledge to keep it healthy by exercising our heart out and the below mentioned workouts will help you do so.  

 

1. Running

 

The benefits of running are innumerable. It rejuvenates the body and is a great exercise to stay fit and reduce weight. But along with this, it offers plenty of benefits to the heart as well. Studies have shown that regular runners have high maximal oxygen consumption (the maximal rate at which oxygen can be used by the body during maximal work) and also make the heart muscles stronger. The ones who prefer distance running are benefitted by having larger thicker left ventricles and as a result their hearts are more efficient, pumping a larger volume per beat. One must run for at least 30 mins, 5 days per week and heart problems like bad cholesterol and high blood pressure will be kept at bay. Small intervals of some seconds in-between will take your cardiovascular fitness to the next level.

 

2. Cycling

 

Cycling is a great workout for overall fitness as it puts your heart, blood vessels and lungs to workout. Also, elderly people and those who have arthritis can also benefit from cycling because it is soft on the joints.  Cycling helps in reducing stress, weight and also enhances stamina along with muscle and bone strength. Apart from all these, studies suggest that 20 minutes of cycling daily can reduce the risk of heart diseases by 50%. If done on a regular basis, cycling keeps the blood pressure under check and raise the levels of heart-protecting HDL cholesterol and reduce the levels of dangerous triglycerides. So, now ditch your regular transport with cycling or simply spend 20 minutes cycling in park and avail all these benefits.

3. Swimming

 

Who would not want to jump into a pool of water and swim their heart out, after all, it’s a workout without much pain and sweat and leaves one feeling refreshed. Again, being gentle on joints, it is an exercise that can be carried out by the elderly as well, who are more prone to the risk of heart diseases. Swimming burns a lot of calories, about 600 an hour and also provides relief from Arthritis and back-pain. Along with these, Swimming is known for providing the best Cardiovascular fitness. It improves the cholesterol levels as well as heart and lung capacity. Swimming for half an hour a minimum of three times a week can significantly lower blood pressure levels.

 

4. Weight Training

 

From managing your weight to increasing the bone density and your metabolism rate, weight training does it all. But it should not be undermined when it comes to improving your cardiovascular fitness. A moderate intensity training lowers the blood pressure considerably. It assists in building lean muscles which gives your cardiovascular system more places to put its blood and thus reducing pressure on the arterial walls. Apart from these, it also lowers the Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels and improves HDL or Good Cholesterol Levels.

 

5. Water Aerobics

 

Water Aerobics is great for maintaining overall health. Water Aerobics are exercises which are done in waist-deep or higher water that may use floating devices and weights. Again, being easy on the joints, it can be easily performed by the ones who suffer from Arthritis and knee pain. Providing a great cardiovascular workout, Water Aerobics strengthens the heart muscles and lower the resting heart rate, which implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness