February is a time when we think about our hearts – and not just because of Valentine’s Day. It’s also American Heart Month organized by the American Heart Association (AHA).
The AHA estimates that more than 85 million people in the U.S. have been affected by cardiovascular disease, including heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure.
Along with a healthy diet and quitting smoking, an active lifestyle is one of the most important factors in maintaining heart health.
At Texas Orthopedics, we are usually giving props to exercise as a way to keep muscles, bones, and joints healthy, but without a healthy heart, nothing else really matters.
Here are five of the best types of exercises to keep your ticker ticking:
1. High Intensity Interval training, or HIIT
HIIT combines short bursts of exercise with short periods of recovery time that get your pulse pounding. Continuously lowering and raising your heart rate improves vascular function and burns calories.
2. Weight Training
Similar to HIIT, weight training offers quick bursts of movement revving up your heart rate, mixed with periods of rest while performing reps. Using free weights also means engaging your core and improving balance at the same time.
3. Core Exercises
Working on your core (think Pilates or balance balls) helps brings balance and strength to virtually every other part of the body. A strong and flexible body allows you to become more active and physically engaged in everything you do, whether it’s playing sports, or bending over to pick up groceries.
Yoga has a calming effect, is a great stress-reliever, and is also proven to help lower blood pressure.
5. Daily Life Activity
Engage in as much activity as possible in regular daily life. Take the stairs, not the elevator. Park far away, not right next to an entrance. Vacuum or sweep your whole house. People who log at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily, whether it’s a dedicated workout or not, have healthier hearts.
If you would like to discuss starting a new exercise program geared towards heart health, please contact us for an appointment.