Health Mandy Kloppers

Exercises & Tips For A Healthy Heart

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Maintaining a healthy heart isn’t something that comes naturally to most of us. The things required to do so can sometimes be the things we’d rather not do. However, when come face to face with the health issues that have caught up with you, they don’t seem so bad in hindsight. Heart issues can sometimes be addressed before they become life threatening, and you may have to pay a visit to a heart surgeon in London. So, if you want to keep your heart healthy for as long as possible, keep reading and discover all the best exercises and other tips that will give you the power to do just that.

Exercises

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise is fantastic for strengthening your heart as it helps to condition your cardiovascular strength. The term aerobic actually means “with oxygen”, showing that this type of movement will encourage you to breathe deeply as you exert yourself. Aerobic exercises include activities like swimming, brisk walking, cycling, and running. Essentially, you want to be partaking in an exercise that we might commonly refer to as “cardio”. Regular aerobic exercise has been shown to improve how well your heart pumps your blood around your body and even reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This type of exercise can help to decrease your resting heart rate too, which is a sign of a healthy heart. It’s recommended that you partake in aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes a day and five days a week. So, if you really want to do right by your heart, then you definitely need to add some aerobic exercise to your weekly routine.

Strength Training

When you think of a gym, the first machines that pop into your mind are probably the weighted ones. Strength training is extremely popular lately, and for good reason! Working out with weights, whether it’s with dumbbells, machines, or resistance bands, can really help you to strengthen your heart. This is because it helps to reduce your fat and create more muscle mass, both of which are essential for having a healthy heart. You don’t need to do strength training as often as aerobic either, as it’s only recommended that you do it on two non-consecutive days each week. If you’re unsure where to start with all the different weighted exercises, be sure to speak to a staff member in the gym or check out videos online. You’ll soon find they’re super easy to use and you may even enjoy yourself!

Flexibility Based Exercises

While stretching before and after a workout won’t directly impact your heart health, it does enable you to perform better during the exercises that do. This is why it’s important that you always warm up and cool down whenever you decide to work out. Flexibility based exercises like yoga, however, do have benefits to your heart health. Studies have shown that yoga can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, all while decreasing your resting heart rate. All of these things contribute to the strength of your heart and will help you to keep it healthier for a lot longer. These types of exercises are recommended to be done a couple of times a week to feel and see the benefits. So, why not take up a whole new type of exercise to help your heart.

Other Healthy Heart Tips

As well as exercise, there are other things you can do to help keep your heart healthy. Here are some more top tips!

Eat A Well Balanced Diet

You might think that you need to be on a diet to keep your heart healthy, but this isn’t the case. It’s all about eating a well-balanced diet that will nourish your body and soul. Eating plenty of whole foods is important and you want to try and avoid foods high in saturated fats. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy fast food, but it should just be once in a while…not every day. Try to eat things like oily fish, nuts, and vegetables on a regular basis to contribute to the health of your heart. Eating foods that aren’t good for you can contribute to weight gain, which is one of the leading factors in heart disease, and it can increase your cholesterol which we all know is awful for your heart. Make sure you eat a balanced diet that incorporates all the right food groups, and you’ll be able to maintain a strong heart with ease.

Get Plenty Of Sleep

Lack of sleep has been linked to heart disease and even heart attacks, so you can see why it’s important that you get a well-rested sleep each night. It’s recommended that adults get 7 hours of sleep a night, and anything less can put you at risk of health issues such as high blood pressure. Having high blood pressure is a contributor to heart disease and heart attacks, so try to make sure you properly unwind in the evenings and do your best to get a good sleep. Create a relaxing routine that you’ll be able to follow every night and you’ll be able to protect your heart from unnecessary strain.

Quit Smoking & Reduce Alcohol Intake

Smoking and drinking alcohol may seem commonplace when you go to parties, but they both can wreak havoc on the health of your heart. Smoking actually increases the amount of plaque that forms in your blood vessels, which then makes it hard for your heart to pump your blood around. Eventually, this can lead to blood clots forming and heart attacks occurring. This is why giving up smoking does more than just help get rid of your smoker’s cough! Alcohol consumption has also been linked to heart conditions like cardiomyopathy developing. This condition is where your heart becomes damaged and can’t pump your blood as efficiently as it should. The common myth that red wine is good for your heart also needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. While drinking the occasional glass has been shown to potentially help the health of your heart, drinking it every single day is not, so don’t go throwing around that myth as an excuse.

There are lots of ways you can help your heart health, and regularly exercising is one of the best. Make sure you incorporate whatever type of exercise works for you. If you love running, then make that your primary routine or if you prefer weightlifting, try doing it a couple of times a week. Whatever you decide, make sure you do it in a safe way that will promote heart health, not strain. Be sure to speak to your doctor if you’re concerned about the health of your heart, and they’ll be able to provide you with expert advice. These tips can help give you a foundation of knowledge, so try to build on it as you go. You’ll soon find it extremely easy to look after your heart!

Photo by Minna Hamalainen on Unsplash

Mandy Kloppers
Author: Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.

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