Health & Fit Beyond Cardio: 5 Workouts to Strengthen Your Heart Health

08:31  19 september  2022
08:31  19 september  2022 Source:   cnet.com

Extra exercise could extend your lifespan and protect you from early death, study suggests

  Extra exercise could extend your lifespan and protect you from early death, study suggests Getting more than five hours a week of exercise like walking could stave off serious health risks, according to a study of more than 100,000 people.Only about one in five Americans (20%) has good cardiovascular health, according to the guidelines, written by  a group of doctors on behalf of the AHA.

Staying active is a good way to maintain a strong heart and reduce your chances of developing heart disease, research shows. By exercising not only are you setting yourself up to live a long and healthy life, you're also prioritizing your heart health.

Help keep your heart healthy with these activities. Kmatta/Getty Images © Provided by CNET Help keep your heart healthy with these activities. Kmatta/Getty Images

Different types of exercises like walking can keep your heart in tip top shape. We spoke with experts to determine the best exercises you should be doing to maintain a healthy heart, brain and body. There's something to fit every type of lifestyle, whether you enjoy low-intensity or high-intensity exercises. Get the most of these workouts by adding them to your exercise routine today.

Your Guide to EMOM Workouts, an Effective Way to Boost Your Fitness

  Your Guide to EMOM Workouts, an Effective Way to Boost Your Fitness Try these four routines, created for cyclists, that you can do at home.EMOM workouts can be “very beneficial,” says Katie Pierson, a Denver-based certified spinning instructor and certified personal trainer. They’re a great training method for improving your stamina and continually challenging yourself, she explains. Pretty much any cyclist can benefit from EMOM workouts, whether you ride road or gravel or if you clock centuries or 10 milers.

Best Chest Strap Heart-Rate Monitors for 2022: See at Cnet

Why exercise is important for your heart

Be sure to keep track of your heart rate through your exercises. D3sign/Getty Images © Provided by CNET Be sure to keep track of your heart rate through your exercises. D3sign/Getty Images

Exercise in general is beneficial for cardiovascular health. It makes you less likely to develop heart problems as you age, for one. It helps lower your blood pressure, increases your high-density lipoprotein (or good cholesterol), reduces stress and improves your heart's ability to pump more blood into your muscles by efficiently transferring oxygen out of the blood. It also has indirect benefits.

"Exercise can also help control cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity," said Dr. Lance LaMotte, interventional cardiologist, Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and owner of Title Boxing Club in Baton Rouge, LA.

8 Dance-Inspired Workouts That Don’t Even Feel Like Exercise

  8 Dance-Inspired Workouts That Don’t Even Feel Like Exercise Why spend your time doing something you hate when you can exercise and have fun at the same time? The post 8 Dance-Inspired Workouts That Don’t Even Feel Like Exercise appeared first on The Healthy.

On the flip side, it's also important to remain active as you age because inactivity has been linked to a greater chance of developing heart disease. It also increases your chances of a major cardiovascular event. LaMotte said, "Studies have shown a decreased likelihood of heart attack and stroke by maintaining or increasing activity with age." Besides keeping your heart healthy, LaMotte added that as you age, exercise can also improve your cognition and memory.

Which exercises are best for your heart?

Marko Geber/Getty Images © Provided by CNET Marko Geber/Getty Images

Any exercise that gets your heart rate up is beneficial for your heart health, said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventative cardiologist and a member of Peloton's Health & Wellness Advisory Council: "I've always said that exercise is the best medication and prevention for heart disease and for living a healthier and happier life." LaMotte added that "almost any form of regular exercise can provide tremendous cardiovascular benefits, be it traditional cardio such as walking, running, biking, swimming, high-intensity interval training, resistance training or full-body workouts, such as boxing."

Weekend-Only Workouts Are Just as Effective as Daily Exercise, Says New Study

  Weekend-Only Workouts Are Just as Effective as Daily Exercise, Says New Study If you're working out to live longer, new research from the American Medical Association has found that being a weekend warrior may have powerful effects! The post Weekend-Only Workouts Are Just as Effective as Daily Exercise, Says New Study appeared first on The Healthy.

Although all exercise provides heart health benefits, there are some workouts that stand out as ideal to keep your heart going strong. Here's a breakdown of five of the top exercises for heart health. These exercises get your heart pumping and offer a variety of options to prevent overuse injuries and work different muscles.

Interval Training

A good rule of thumb to follow with interval training is to keep the exercises short and intense followed by a rest period of the same length or shorter in between. Interval training is a good option when you're short on time and want to break a quick sweat. Studies even suggest that HIIT-style or high intensity interval training workouts improve both your lung and heart health, as well as your heart's response to exercise. Additionally, there are workout apps and programs you can download that focus on this type of training if you're not sure where to begin.

MoMo Productions/Getty Images © Provided by CNET MoMo Productions/Getty Images


Weightlifting may be slower paced, but it is also a good way to get your heart rate up and improve your heart's strength. One study found that lifting weights can reduce your chances of having a stroke or heart attack by about 40% to 70%. Depending on your goals, it's helpful to connect with a personal trainer who can teach you proper techniques and set up a customized workout program for you.

What are Fitbit Active Zone Minutes?

  What are Fitbit Active Zone Minutes? Active Zone Minutes is one of the newest and most useful features you'll find in many Fitbit trackers and smartwatches.Fitbit is one of the best brands around when it comes to fitness, health, and wellness tracking. Active Zone Minutes is just one relatively new feature that offers more insight into sports, activity, exercise, and more. Analyze the state to ensure you're reaching your optimal potential; both throughout the day while doing low-intensity activities, and during and after exercise.


Walking is just as beneficial as getting a run in, but is gentler on the body. It's easy to do anywhere and you can gain even more benefits by picking up the pace. "Walking is a low intensity workout that's proven to benefit your heart, especially when walking at a brisk pace and pumping your arms," said Steinbaum. Research suggests that brisk walking can further improve your cardiovascular health compared to walking slowly. Other ways to make your walks more challenging are by walking with some weights in hand, adding a half mile every time you go for a stroll, or adding bodyweight exercises every so often.

Jessie Casson/Getty Images © Provided by CNET Jessie Casson/Getty Images


Yoga is known to lower blood pressure, improve your flexibility and balance and help reduce any aches and pains. Yoga can be done in the comfort of your own home -- all you need is a yoga mat and a small space to move.


Swimming is a low impact, full body workout that is gentle on the joints, but still packs some cardio punch. Swimming keeps your lungs and heart strong and even helps lower your blood pressure. It's a great aerobic option if you're also recovering from an injury or if your body doesn't respond well to high-impact exercises.

Where should you begin?

Before you take on any new exercise program, it's important to discuss it with your doctor, especially if you have had any prior health issues, or if heart issues run in your family. LaMotte said that "if cardiovascular risk factors are present, it is advisable to have a physician's clearance prior." Steinbaum agreed and said, "Checking your blood pressure, cholesterol panel, hemoglobin A1C (sugars) and inflammatory markers, among other indicators, are vital sources of information to help determine risk levels for higher intensity workouts." However, if you're a generally healthy individual, use your best judgment when taking on a new workout and stay within your limits.

6 Best VR Fitness Apps for Fun Virtual Reality Workouts

  6 Best VR Fitness Apps for Fun Virtual Reality Workouts Dull Sense of Smell Might Be an Early Sign of This Fatal Disease, By Chris Kissell. People who experience a fading sense of smell — known as anosmia — often have brain scans that reveal a faster buildup of harmful proteins associated with Alzheimer’s, says new study from the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Participants in the study — all of whom were deemed “cognitively normal” at the beginning of the research — received baseline cognitive and odor-identification tests as well as PET brain scans to look for buildup of amyloid-beta and tau, which are harmful proteins that have been linked to dementia. Researchers discovered that for each point of lower odor-identification test scores, participants had a 22% higher chance of developing mild cognitive impairment. Study participants whose sense of smell declined over time also had higher levels of amyloid and tau in regions of the brain related to smell and memory function. “The PET brain scans of this subset of participants showed that lower olfactory scores were associated with higher levels of Alzheimer’s pathology in the brain, particularly in regions associated with the sense of smell, including parts of the orbital frontal cortex, and regions important to memory and learning, such as the temporal lobe.

If you're just getting started on your workout journey, it's important to make sure you don't do too much too soon. LaMotte recommended that you start slowly to establish consistency and set reasonable goals. For example, if you're just taking up running, it's best to focus on completing a set distance at a comfortable pace, rather than upping the intensity and tackling the distance at the same time.

A good rule of thumb is to follow the recommendations of the American Heart Association. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both per week. Along with this, you should include resistance training at least two days per week. "Studies have shown that activities that get your heart rate into the moderate intensity heart rate zone is the best option for optimum cardiovascular benefit," advised Steinbaum.

The best way to do this is to explore and find an activity that you enjoy and know you'll be consistent with. Some people may find it helpful to have a workout buddy or a small group of friends who can hold them accountable. "It is also important to be tuned in to body feedback to decrease injury," warned LaMotte, adding that hydration and rest days are also important to minimize the risk of injury and fatigue.

MEDITERRANEAN/Getty Images © Provided by CNET MEDITERRANEAN/Getty Images

Additionally, it is important to balance heart healthy exercise with a healthy diet. "I always tell my patients that they can't out-exercise a poor diet," advised LaMotte. "A diet low in saturated fat, refined sugars and sodium can help control or reduce blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels."

If you have a family history of heart disease, it's important to start getting your numbers checked by age 20 for blood pressure, cholesterol and sugars. "If a woman has a history of complications during pregnancy such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, she should have her heart checked," said Steinbaum. For other individuals, she said, "knowing your numbers" and having a yearly wellness visit is part of leading a heart healthy life.

For more research-backed advice on maintaining your heart health, here are nine things you can do now to lower your risk of heart disease. Plus, here's how to check your heart health at home without fancy equipment.

Best Online Fitness Classes to Try from the Comfort of Your Home .
If you're looking for an all-around great online fitness workout to do from your living room, these classes have you covered.A busy schedule can wreak havoc on your fitness routine. With everything you have going on in your life, it's not always easy to get to the gym. Still, being pulled in ten different directions isn't anything new, which is why workout videos that let you break a sweat in the comfort of your home have been around for decades.

usr: 0
This is interesting!