You don’t need to be a hard-core athlete to improve your heart health. Performing regular moderate exercise is already enough to significantly reduce your risk of developing a chronic illness such as heart disease, as well as improve your endurance, flexibility and strength. While any type and amount of physical activity is beneficial for your overall health, read on to know about the best exercises that would boost your heart health, plus some tips on how to exercise if you have been diagnosed with a heart disease.
How Long and How Often Should I Exercise
If you’ve been living a sedentary lifestyle, then gradually work up to an aerobic session that lasts for 20 to 30 minutes, four times a week. A Singapore cardiologist recommends that you exercise most days of the week. Also, any amount of exercise is good for you but remember to always do it in moderation.
What Should I Do in Every Workout
All of your workout sessions should include a good warm-up exercise, conditioning phase, and cooldown.
• Warm-up: Take it easy for the first few minutes of your exercise to allow your body to get used to being physically active.
• Conditioning phase: This is the main part of your workout session. Simply put, this is when you perform your chosen workout routine.
• Cooling down: You’re already transitioning out of your workout routine. Avoid sitting, standing or lying down right after exercising, or you’ll end up feeling dizzy or having heart palpitations. The best cooldown routine is to ease up the intensity of your physical activity.
What Type of Workouts Should I Do
When it comes to the types of exercise routines you can do, you actually have lots of options. Any activity that makes your heart beat faster counts. Think about what your heart and overall health needs – if you’re looking for an activity that’s easy on your joints but still pumps up your heart, for instance, then consider swimming or walking exercises. Also, think about what workout routines would be fun to do, whether it’s something that you used to do, or an activity that you’ve been dying to try. Here, we’ve listed down some activities that you can try to improve your heart health.
1. Brisk Walking. Whether you rack up the miles on the road or on your treadmill, brisk walking exercise is a natural way to improve your heart and overall fitness. Just make sure you’re wearing comfortable walking shoes and you can now start moving around. A leisurely stroll is already a good exercise (compared to just sitting idly on your couch, anyway), but Singapore health experts like a cardiologist from Harley Street in Singapore suggest that it would be even better to walk at a faster pace for a moderate intensity exercise.
2. Running. Although it’s a bit challenging than walking, running is another heart-healthy exercise that you can do. Running is one of the best ways to burn calories, a great bonus if you’re trying to lose weight to reduce your heart disease risk. If you’re still new to running, experts advise that your start the activity with brisk walking while adding one to two minutes of running after every five minutes of walking. Once you get used to this, increase the minutes of your run until you no longer need to do walks in between.
3. Swimming. The pool is a great place to idle the time away, but you can also use it for a full body exercise. According to a cardiologist Singapore, swimming laps or participating in water fitness classes won’t just tone your muscles and improve your muscular strength, it’ll also raise your heart rate and boost your heart health. Swimming is also a great exercise alternative to walking and running if you’re suffering from joint problems.
4. Cycling. Another great cardiovascular activity that’s easy on the joints, cycling is a low-impact workout that can be done solo in the gym, in a spin class, or on the road. Efficiently use your cycling time by riding your bike to work or when doing some errands. Taking your bike off-road will help you raise your heart beat, tone your lower body, and build strength.
5. Circuit or Interval Training. If performing aerobic exercise straight bores you, try mixing things up. Example: for every three minutes of your cardio workout, perform a minute of strength training or high-intensity cardio. Another good option is to choose 5 to 10 strength training exercises and perform a set of each using lower weight and higher repetitions to raise your heart rate. Doing this type of workout won’t only keep you motivated to exercise, it’ll also improve your endurance, muscular strength and heart health.
How Hard Should I Exercise
According to Singapore health experts, you’re exercising vigorously if you can no longer say a few words without taking a breath. If you’ve been diagnosed with a heart disease, ask your specialist whether or not you should limit the intensity of your workout sessions. Remember that it’s much better to start taking things easy and working up to more challenging workouts to prevent any injury.
How to Stick With Exercising
• Ban Boredom. One of easiest way to make you stick with working out is to pick various activities that you like and mix them up to create your workout routine. As much as possible, avoid doing the same exercise routine over and over again as that’s what leads to loss of interest in exercising.
• Create Workout Playlists. Make your workout session livelier and more entertaining by creating a workout playlist and using it every time you exercise.
• Learn to Commit. You won’t always feel like exercising, and you’ll surely find all sorts of excuses not to do it, but understand that you’ll need to make a decision ahead of time, ignore those impulses and exercise anyway.
• Exercise within Your Budget. If you’re planning to maintain your workout routine, make sure that you exercise just within your budget. As much as possible, avoid buying expensive health club memberships or expensive equipment unless you’re certain that you’ll use them.
Although exercising really helps in improving our heart health, make sure that you consult your cardiologist Singapore first to ensure that the physical activities you want to do are appropriate for your age, fitness and health condition.