Promoting Heart Health Through Fitness and Training
Cardiovascular exercise is one of a few keys to strengthening the heart and creating an optimally flowing bloodstream. After all, the heart is the muscle delivering health and healing qualities to all of the other muscles in the body, as well as other vital organs, so it only makes sense that it is well taken care of.
Cardiovascular Exercises Defined
Cardiovascular exercise is defined as any aerobic activity pushing the heart from 55 to 85 percent of its maximum rate. Anyone attempting new forms of exercise or an exercise regimen for the first time should consult with their doctor for simple determinations of maximum heart rate and target heart rate.
Types of Cardiovascular Exercises
There are numerous activities that can be enjoyed (or combined in multitasking fashion) as cardiovascular exercises. Cardio health can be increased through 20 minutes of combined cardiovascular exercise, three times a week. This means even short sessions of cardio a few times a day are helpful. Here are a few great examples of how to increase cardiovascular health.
There are many things you can do at a gym to increase cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular exercises include treadmill running, elliptical running, stationary bike, stair stepper, circuit training, aerobics classes, plyometric exercises, jumping rope, interval training and more. Gyms often have training available to offer direction and help when you’re looking to expand your cardiovascular exercise repertoire.
Competitive sports are another way to enjoy wonderful cardiovascular benefits. Sports such as basketball, track and field, soccer, football, flag football, swimming, water polo, boxing, martial arts, hockey, lacrosse, tennis and racquetball are all great examples of cardiovascular exercises that can be enjoyed competitively. The great thing about sports is that they provide the opportunity to have fun while also getting the benefits of exercise.
Getting into the great outdoors, there are many other activities that serve to boost cardiovascular health. Hiking, cycling, mountain biking, skiing, skateboarding, roller skating, ice skating, rock climbing, surfing, kayaking and canoeing are all great options for getting the heart rate elevated over extended periods of time. These healthy activities may serve as a better fit for lifestyle choices, as opposed to visiting a gym several times during the week.
Turning Household Chores Into Cardiovascular Exercises
If you feel like you don’t have enough time to get your cardiovascular exercise in, then consider adding an extra level of hustle to some common household chores, with little or no rest in between. Scrubbing floors, vacuuming, yard work, gardening, washing the car and shoveling snow — these are all great examples of cardiovascular exercises and great options for individuals as they get older, and less likely to be involved in more vigorous, sport-related activities.
Find out how food plays a role in heart health in the next article of our series, Cardiovascular Health Food.
Cardiovascular Health Food
Cardiovascular Health Food: Promoting Heart Health via a Quality Diet
The cardiovascular system benefits from receiving plentiful portions of fruits, vegetables and Omega-3 fatty acids. These foods are the key to offering the heart the nutrients it needs to repair cellular damage and protect the body from the development of heart disease. When combined with regular cardiovascular exercises and quality heart health supplements, the heart can enjoy incredible health well into old age
Why Eat Heart Health Foods?
The heart relies on a steady dose of antioxidants from food and supplements, as well as fatty acids that aid in the bioavailability of phytonutrients, which serve as cellular protectors. Consider a few foods possessing excellent heart and cardiovascular health.
Cardiovascular Health Food: Fatty Fish
Many people are under the assumption that heart health means consuming only green vegetables that don’t always taste very good. While the heart does appreciate the antioxidant and nutrient health of vegetables, it actually enjoys fish like salmon and tuna as well, which are high in Omega-3 fatty acids. As an added bonus, salmon possesses the super-antioxidant Astaxanthin.
Cardiovascular Health Food: Fruits
Fruits are a great snack and many of them offer health benefits to the cardiovascular system. Some of the most nutrient-filled fruits out there include:
It is also worth noting that chocolate, which derived from the cocoa pod and as such is considered a fruit by some people, does have a positive effect on the heart in small doses (especially dark chocolate). For great benefits, it should be enjoyed in small doses at levels of 70 percent cocoa or more.
Cardiovascular Health Food: Vegetables
Heart-healthy vegetables are those that are considered very hearty. When you’re seeking cardiovascular health foods of the vegetable variety, consider some of the following:
- Acorn Squash
- Red Bell Peppers
- Sweet Potatoes
These foods are high in a variety of antioxidant vitamins, as well as elemental entities promoting heart health like vitamins A, C, E, B6, B12, potassium, folate, beta-carotene, lutein and fiber.
Now that you’ve read about Cardiovascular Exercises and Health Food, take a look at how Cardiovascular Supplements can promote positive health in our final article in the series.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns about your health. Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have heard or read in this article or the internet.