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3 Kinds of Exercise for Heart Pumping Health

exerciseprogramming physicaltherapy Feb 17, 2021

February is American Heart Month. Let’s spend some time showing some love to the organ that is literally giving us the heart beat to our lives. We want to take the time to give you some actionable strategies to keep your heart healthy. 

First, let’s start with some information about the heart. We know it’s an important organ, but what does it actually do.  Well, our hearts have 4 main functions: 

  • Pumping oxygenated blood throughout the body
  • Pumping hormones and other vital substances throughout the body
  • Receiving deoxygenated blood and carrying metabolic waste products from the body and pumping it to the lungs for oxygenation
  • Maintaining blood pressure

Did you know the heart on average beats 100,000 times a day, pumping about 2,000 gallons of blood! Talk about a powerhouse organ.  Our heart is formed with a special type of muscle called cardiac muscle. 

With how much our heart pumps for us, it’s important we do all we can to keep our heart working optimally. 

According to the CDC website, Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States and 1in 4 deaths in America is due to heart disease.

Key Risk Factors of Heart Disease Include: 

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Smoking

Other lifestyle factors that can increase your risk are:

  • Diabetes
  • Overweight and obesity 
  • Unhealthy diet 
  • Sedentary Lifestyle/Physical Inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol consumption 

There’s no time like the present to take control of your health and your life. At Inside Out Strength and Performance we love exercise. We would like to share with you 3 types of exercise you can do to help with your cardiovascular health for today and for years to come.

Aerobic Exercise:

Aerobic exercise helps with circulation which can help reduce blood pressure and heart rate. This can improve your aerobic fitness and your heart to be more efficient as it’s pumping blood throughout your body. A good rule of thumb is to work up to an intensity that you could still hold a conversation with someone as you complete the exercise.

Examples: Brisk walking, running, swimming, jumping rope, pickle ball or tennis. These are examples of the activities we have in mind when we’re looking for aerobic exercise to get your heart pumping!

How Much Should I Do? Working up to 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week.  If you’re new to this form of exercise, contact your doctor to inform them of your new health and activity goals. Then once given the green light, start small.  Even if it’s 5 minutes of walking to start. 

Resistance Training (Strength Exercise):

Many believe cardio is the best way to exercise the heart, but resistance training can be another great way to exercise your heart. Resistance training can also help with body composition, meaning building stronger muscles through creating lean muscle mass and less fat. 

How Much Should I Do? At least 20 minutes a day for 2 days a week.

Examples: You can begin with bodyweight exercises (push ups, glute bridges, squats, chin ups) as well as adding in forms of resistance with free weights such as dumbbells or kettlebells, resistance bands, exercise machines. To learn more about strength training and more examples, check out our Strength Training For Better Aging blog.

Stretching, Mobility, Flexibility: 

Although stretching, mobility and flexibility don’t directly relate to cardiac health it can help you stay mobile and improve range of motion, movement quality and strength while working on your aerobic exercise and resistance training.

How Much Should I Do? Daily is recommended, whether that’s targeted mobility before and after a workout, or stretching and flexibility work in the morning or evening. Our bodies are designed to move. When we can consistently maintain adequate flexibility and motion at our joints we will overall feel better, move better and live better.

Examples: Stretching routine, yoga, mobility exercises. Click the links to try the videos for mobility exercises to get begin.

Warm-Up Smarter, Not Longer: Your Warm-Up and Mobility Overhaul 

Top 5 Home Mobility Exercises 

10 Ways to Improve Hip Mobility 

Now’s the time to take and get and keep your heart healthy! Give these forms of activity a try let us know if you feel a difference.  This has worked with hundreds of clients that we have worked with both locally at our performance physical therapy clinic as well as with online training athletes that we program for.

Don’t wait to live your best life, we’d love to help you reach your goals and be a part of your transformation!

Most people don’t know how to stay healthy and fit without getting hurt. At Inside Out Strength and Performance we provide a clear plan to get you in the best shape of your life, without getting injured, so that you can be active and confident that you’ll feel your best for years to come.

We help North County San Diego’s active adults and runners dealing with pain or injury get back to living a pain-free, strong, and confident life.

We are the Strength Docs who help active adults and runners live a strong, confident, and pain-free life. Fill out our contact form to get a clear plan and get started.
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