5 Exercises for a Healthy Heart

Yoga is a great moderate-intensity exercise that strengthens the heart muscle while improving balance and flexibility. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Yoga is a great moderate-intensity exercise that strengthens the heart muscle while improving balance and flexibility. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

It’s National Heart Month! Here are 5 great exercises to maintain a healthy ticker (via Heart.com):

  1. Aerobics. Getting your heart rate up is essential for heart health. Try climbing the stairs, taking a brisk walk, or exercising on the elliptical machine or treadmill.
  2. Swimming, jogging, pilates and yoga. These are all moderate-intensity activities that work to strengthen your heart muscle.
  3. Strength training. This exercise does not increase heart rate, but is a great complement to aerobic exercise because it builds muscle and stamina, enabling you to do aerobic activities for longer periods of time.
  4. Balance exercises. These strengthen your body’s stabilizing muscles, helping you to prevent falls and injuries. Yoga incorporates many balancing poses. You can also try walking heel-to-toe,¬†standing on one foot, or standing up and sitting down without using your hands.
  5. Stretching exercises. Stretching increases flexibility, and recent studies have linked it to improved cardiovascular health. Try adding 10 minutes of stretching twice per week to your regular workouts.
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