Get Your Heart Pumping: Cardio and Strength Training for Heart Health
Aerobic exercise, also known as ‘cardio’, is widely recognized as the most beneficial activity for your cardiovascular system. This type of exercise increases your heart and respiration rates, which strengthens your heart and lungs. Moderate-intensity aerobic activities include walking, biking, dancing, and swimming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults should get 2.5 hours or more of moderate-intensity exercise weekly at intervals of at least 10 minutes.
Cardio exercise is important for heart health, but strength training is an important component of a heart-healthy fitness routine that’s often overlooked. A recent study found that weight training at least once a week can reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke. The American Heart Association suggests that strength training be done at least twice a week. Not only is strength training beneficial for blood flow and circulation, it also helps improve risk factors for cardiovascular disease like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Plus, building lean muscle mass increases your metabolism, which helps your body burn more calories.
Studies show that a combination of cardio and strength training is more effective in improving strength, lean body mass and cardiovascular fitness than performing just cardio exercise alone. Therefore, if you’re considering weightlifting vs. cardio for heart health, you should do both.
A great way to start a habit of heart-healthy activity is to go for a walk. Walking is an aerobic activity that’s beneficial for your heart and vascular system. To reap the most benefit, ensure you are walking for a minimum of 30 minutes at a fast clip.
Dancing is also a great way to express your creativity and inner rhythm. Classes for adults to learn various types of dancing are available. If you can’t attend a group class, there are plenty of videos online that are readily available.
It is simple and cost-effective to partake in skipping. Roughly 150-180 beats per minute is the rate of your heart beat. The increased circulation resulting from this will flush the body of toxins, boosting the way oxygen and nutrients are delivered to all parts of your body. You can burn around 250 calories in only 15 minutes of skipping, which is remarkable.
In conclusion, it’s important to understand how daily activities affect your heart health. Aerobic exercise is crucial, but so is muscle building.
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