The 7 Most Effective Exercises For A Healthy Heart

The 7 Most Effective Exercises For A Healthy Heart

Living a heart-healthy lifestyle is important to minimize the risks of many cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure, stroke, and high blood pressure. If you don’t adopt healthy behaviours for your heart health then the chances of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and kidney diseases also enhance. To keep your cardiovascular system in check, you can book an appointment with a reputed cardiologist in Siliguri at Star Hospital who can perform a routine examination. 

Along with eating a healthy and balanced diet, managing stress, and smoking cessation, exercising regularly can also play a major role in making your heart healthy. Being physically active is one of the main steps that you can take to control your weight, strengthen the muscles of your heart, and reduce the complications of hypertension and high cholesterol. To maintain your overall health, it is recommended to indulge in around 150 minutes of moderate exercise in a week.

Why Is Heart Health Important? 

The heart is the centre of your cardiovascular system and this is why it is your main responsibility to keep the heart healthy in order to ensure proper functioning of your body. No matter what your age is you must always embrace a healthy lifestyle to decrease the risks of stroke or heart attack. Your heart health is important because it plays a vital role in ensuring overall health. 

It is also responsible for pumping nutrient-packed blood throughout the body while removing unnecessary waste and toxins. Additionally, your heart also supports the immune system while transporting oxygen in the body and maintaining blood pressure. This is why you must follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly to maintain your heart health and promote proper functioning of the cardiovascular system.

Here Are Some Of The Effective Exercises That Can Improve Your Heart Health 

1.  Strength Training 
Strength, resistance, or weight training is one of the most important exercises for a healthy heart. These types of exercises often lead to muscular contraction to promote anaerobic endurance and build strength. When you indulge in resistance training for a longer period, all the muscles of your body strengthen which can also improve blood circulation and reduce the chances of stroke. 

One of the main benefits of strength training is that it enhances lean muscle mass which reduces arterial pressure and boosts heart health. Along with this, weight exercises can also decrease belly or visceral fat which is found to be a major contributing factor behind cardiovascular issues. Apart from heart health, these exercises also improve posture, maintain flexibility, and avoid the problems of insomnia. 
Examples Of Weight Exercises: 
  • Squats 
  • Push-ups 
  • Suspension equipment exercise
  • Exercises using free weights such as kettlebells, dumbbells, and barbells 
  • Weight machines 
  • Workout with resistance bands 
  • Lunges 
  • Deadlifts 
2.  Walking 
Walking is also strongly endorsed by top heart specialists. With every step you take, walking has innumerable benefits to offer you while improving your energy, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels. Weight gain has been associated with heart issues and regular walking can aid in weight loss that can also help you manage stress and boost mood. Walking is the best form of exercise that doesn’t require too much effort and also ensures cardiovascular fitness. 

To improve your cardiovascular and overall health, it is advised to walk for around 30 minutes every day. If you can’t manage it all at once then you can short walks in between your walk to maintain body fitness. An early morning walk is the best way to include walking in your lifestyle where you can also include some free-hand exercises for better results. 
Exercises To Include While Walking- 
  • Waking calf rises 
  • Walking lunges 
  • Walking oblique twists 
  • Walking side lunges 
  • Walking high knees 
  • Walking arm raises
3.  Balance And Flexibility Exercises  
Practising balance exercises can be the first step towards cardiovascular health. This is because, to begin resistance training, it is essential to become flexible and build endurance which can be done through balance exercises. Herein, if you include these exercises in your workout regimen then it can enhance the functioning of your legs, core, arms, bag, and glutes which will enable you to maintain proper while walking or strength training. 

This is the most beneficial type of exercise for older people who can indulge in a high-intensity workout. Additionally, balance exercises help you to prevent sudden falls which are also associated with injuries in the heart and increased risk of stroke. Another benefit of practising this exercise is that it can be done both outdoors and indoors. 
Examples of Balance Exercises: 
  • Tightrope walk 
  • Flamingo stand 
  • Banded tri-planar toe taps
  • Exercises with a stability ball 
  • Side-stepping
  • Chair leg raises
4.  Cardio Exercises  
Cardio or aerobic exercises are another beneficial type of exercise that can improve your cardiovascular system. The cardio exercises use repetitive muscle contraction to increase your heartbeat and maintain heart health. If you’re indulging in regular cardio workouts then you can also strengthen your blood vessels and heart while improving the flow of oxygen throughout the body. 

Cardio also reduces the risks of various heart disorders, high cholesterol, stroke, and high blood pressure. However, it is always advisable to contact a reputed cardiologist to know the required time frame for the cardio exercises to improve heart health. You can also seek the assistance of a professional trainer who can help you understand the best exercises for you. If you want to lose weight and improve heart health then you can spread 150–300 minutes of moderate cardio exercises throughout the week for improved results. 
Examples of Cardio Exercises: 
  • Stair climbing 
  • Jumping rope 
  • Cycling 
  • Jogging 
  • Swimming 
  • Jumping jacks 
  • High knees 
  • Squat jump 
  • Dancing 
  • Mountain climbers 
5.  Interval Training 
You can also adopt an internal training plan for a healthy heart which will ensure you to give a strong cardiac boost. This work-and-recovery pattern of exercising can improve the ability of your body to consume oxygen which in turn increases the oxygen flow in the heart. Interval training exercises are short workouts with huge amounts of benefits which also include the promotion of fat loss and increasing the effectiveness of our energy system. 

If you suffer from any metabolic or respiratory disorders then also you can indulge in these exercises because it doesn’t require any vigorous training intensity or repetitive sets. After practising these exercises for a few weeks, you can see noticeable improvements such as greater speed, improved performance, and enhanced endurance. Herein, you can add 2-3 days of strength training to your workout routine to ensure optimal heart health. 
Exercises To Include In Your Interval Training Plan- 
  • Mountain climbers 
  • Burpees
  • Planks 
  • Stair running 
  • Shuttle sprints 
  • Weighted walking lunges 
  • Push-ups 
  • Bicycle crunch  
6. Yoga 
Maintaining the balance between nutrients and oxygen in the heart is one of the main functions of our body. Psychological stress can be a major factor that can deteriorate the crucial functions of our cardiovascular system. Yoga is one of the most effective exercises that can help you reduce psychological and physical stress while strengthening your heart function. You can include breathing-based or postural yoga asanas in your exercise regimen to keep your cardiovascular fitness in check. 

These asanas can also help you to burn excessive calories and enhance overall sleep quality. You must always know that yoga and heart health are directly related to each other since they maintain both your psychological and physical functions. Furthermore, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also lower the risk of heart disease by regulating cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels.
Yoga Asanas to Practice For A Healthy Heart- 
  • The Chair Pose or Utkatasana 
  • Mountain Pose or Tadasana 
  • The Standing Forward Bend or Uttanasana 
  • The Big Toe Pose or Padangusthasana 
  • The Tree Pose or Vrikshasana 
  • The Wheel Pose or Chakrasana 
  • The Downward-Facing Dog Pose, referred to in yoga practice as Adho Mukha Svanasana
  • The Shoulder Stand or Sarvangasana
7.  Isometric Exercises 
Isometric exercises involve applying constant tension over a certain muscle without moving any other surrounding joints. High blood pressure has been found to be the main reason behind heart disorders and practicing isometric exercises can lower your blood pressure while ensuring proper heart health. This is because when you squeeze particular muscles, it further promotes blood flow which ultimately strengthens the blood pumping function of your heart. 

These exercises make your heart stronger which eventually lowers blood pressure and promotes cardiovascular fitness. Apart from improving the functioning of the cardiovascular system, practising these static exercises regularly can help increase joint stability and muscle strength. Another great advantage of doing this exercise is that you don’t need a lot of time, equipment, or space to perform these, so you can practice the exercises in your home or office to get a quick burst of energy.
Examples Of Isometric Exercises- 
  • V-sits 
  • Planks and side-planks 
  • Overhead holds 
  • Wall sits 
  • Calf raise and hold 
  • Glute bridges 
  • Low squat holds 
For those with a history of heart failure or considering high-intensity workouts, it's crucial to consult a cardiologist first. Visit Star Hospital, your trusted cardiologist in Siliguri, for expert guidance tailored to your needs, ensuring safe and effective exercise routines. Your heart health matters—schedule your appointment today. You must always remember to warm up before exercising and cool down after exercising to gradually slow down your heartbeat. 

Dr. Joy Shannyal
Meet Our Contributing Expert:

Clinical expertise and insights for this article were provided by Dr. Joy Shannyal, MD, DM a renowned Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery. Delve deeper into their professional profile here for more comprehensive information.

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