The Top 4 Exercises for the Heart
The benefits of exercise are plenty, but the cardiovascular system is the big winner when it comes to aerobic activities such as swimming, elliptical training, rowing, and stair climbing.
The following options are relatively easy forms of aerobic exercise that you can engage in without spending a whole lot of cash or stepping foot into a gym (just remember to consult your doctor before embarking on any exercise regimen):
1. Brisk walking
If it's been years since you've been physically active, you'll want to start slow. Walking five minutes in the morning and five minutes at night is the best beginning. Daily walks are also a good way to get some exercise if you suffer from an ailment that prevents you from more strenuous activity. According to one study, walking for just two and a half hours a week can decrease your risk of heart attack or stroke by as much as 30 percent, though many experts recommend building up to a 30-to-60-minute walk at least five times a week to enjoy optimum heart health.
Once you're ready for greater challenge than a brisk walk provides, jogging is probably the next logical step. As with walking, you'll want to preface your run with a five-minute stretching routine. Recent research from the Stanford University School of Medicine reveals that running on a regular basis will not only benefit your heart but also push back the hands of time, allowing older joggers to remain fit and active longer than their inactive peers.
3. Jumping rope
It may seem like kids' stuff, but there's a reason prizefighters include skipping rope in their workout routine: It's a great way to stay fit and agile. What's more, recent research suggests that such high-impact activity is good for your bones. Jumping rope for 10 minutes melts almost 200 calories and is about the same amount of exercise as a one-mile run.
4. Bike riding
Another way to add exercise to your day is to leave the car at home when running an errand and to ride a bicycle instead. An hour-long excursion on your bike burns almost 650 calories. But the best benefit of riding a bike is that it allows you to sustain an elevated heart rate over an extended period of time. Experts recommend at least 20 minutes to gain the utmost potential of a workout, something that even experienced exercisers may find hard to keep up with when doing other aerobic activities such as running or swimming.
Sign Up for Free Newsletters
Ask Your Doctor the RIGHT Questions!
the most from your doctor visit.
Emailed right to you!
The Ask Your Doctor email series
may contain sponsored content.
18+, US residents only please.
Explore Original Articles About...
Get the MOST from QualityHealth
- Top Searches
- 1. Arthritis Management: Nature Heals
- 2. 5 Digestive To-Dos
- 3. Men: Should You Shave It or Leave It?
- 4. Today's Top Fitness Trends
- 5. Sugar and Osteoarthritis : The Link
- 6. Can't Afford Your Hospital Bills?
- 7. Stay Energized All Day Long
- 8. Phobias: Who Has Them and Why?
- 9. What If Your EpiPen Fails?
- 10. 5 Costly Medical Billing Mistakes
- 1. Ice Falls Can Cause Serious Injuries
- 2. Can Inactivity Act Like a Disease?
- 3. Kale Snack Recipe for Diabetics
- 4. How Running Affects Arthritis
- 5. Sugar and Your Immunity System
- 6. Do Weight Loss Supplements Work?
- 7. 5 Super Foods for Spring
- 8. The Hazards of Reusable Bags
- 9. How to Avoid Ingrown Hairs
- 10. Health Tip: Constantly Change Shoes
- 1. 4 Common Treatments for Epilepsy
- 2. What Does a Urogynecologist Do?
- 3. GERD Without Heartburn? It's Possible
- 4. Graston Technique: Can It Work on You?
- 5. Music Therapy Can Help Autism
- 6. 8 Ways to Fight MS-Related Fatigue
- 7. Can You Still Bleed After Menopause?
- 8. Be Your Own Health Care Advocate
- 9. Why Is Syphillis on the Rise?
- 10. Ideal Weight vs. Happy Weight
The material on the QualityHealth Web site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a physician or other qualified health provider. See additional information.