Health, Wealth: Giving your Heart a Healthy Workout

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When is the best time to get started with a good cardio exercise?

The answer is NOW. Cardio exercises are designed to help you lose weight, but that’s not all they do. Cardio helps you lose weight and, at the same time, it helps your heart recover and get a workout at the same time. The best cardio workouts make your heart contract again and again and, as a muscle, this helps your heart perform at its best and peak performance.

That’s not all that cardio exercises can do. Here are the best workouts for your heart and what they can do.

A disclaimer: To be accurate, there isn’t any clear-cut exercise that’s a good fit for your cardiovascular health. It’s a collection of exercises all working together to keep your heart healthy. However, doing at least one of these per day gives your cardiovascular system a good workout, so that’s already something.

Exercise: Short, intense routine
Effect: break a sweat

It’s good to break a sweat. In fact, it’s good for the very reason that your heart needs it. You know that you’re doing it right when you feel sweaty and have shortness of breath, even after only 30 minutes or less. That doesn’t mean that you’re all pooped and tired—you should still be able to talk to people without any evidence of huffing and puffing.

Exercise: High-intensity
Effect: break a sweat, build muscle

The heart is a muscle. This is why high-intensity workouts are recommended for the cardiovascular system because the heart, being a muscle, gets built-up by this exercise. This is usually done on the fourth or fifth day of a moderately intense exercise. This can also build your various muscles up, so if you have the time, go for it.

Exercise: Longer and more targeted
Effect: for enjoyment

For one day a week, you should take time off from your regular routine. This does not mean that you’re supposed to take a rest day; that’s something you could do on the weekend. What you should do is to take an activity you enjoy such as dance or Zumba. It could also be something lower-intensity, but longer to do like taking a bike trip.

Exercise: Strength training
Effect: Body build-up

Weight training definitely counts as cardio, but you should not over-do it. You can use weights and other training aids for weight training; alternatively, if you can carry your own weight, you might try yoga or other exercises that use your body weight to workout. You should, however, allow your body to rest and recover at least a day in-between sessions.

Exercise is always good! If you can’t commit to exercising 30 minutes a day, at least get yourself moving; there are so many ways to keeping a healthy lifestyle and it’s as simple as keeping an active life.

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Infographic by: blog.naturessunshine.com