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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10 Yoga Cures

Tree pose can help ease feelings of sadness or depression. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

The healing powers of yoga can help to ease a variety of health problems, all while increasing your strength and flexibility. A recent article from Prevention.com offers up 10 simple yoga exercises to cure what ails you.

  1. For long car rides: Standing Side Opener
  2. For a hangover: Easy Seated Twist
  3. For shin splints: Hero Pose
  4. For menstrual cramps: Easy Forward Bend
  5. For a sugar craving: Seated Meditation with “V” Arms
  6. For sadness: Tree Pose
  7. For stress: Half-Pigeon Pose
  8. For a cold or flu: Alternate Nostril Breathing
  9. For a blinding migraine: Headstand Preparation
  10. For sleeplessness: Easy Lying-Down Twist
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Top Five Yoga Poses for Weight Loss

Yoga is a great way to increase flexibility and relieve stress. It’s also excellent for losing weight and toning muscles. An article from Prevention.com takes you through step-by-step instructions for achieving five yoga poses it deems ideal for weight loss:

  1. Crescent Pose. Firms abdominal muscles, hips and thighs.
  2. Willow Pose. Firms side abdominal muscles.
  3. Rocking Boat Pose. Firms abdominal muscles and back.
  4. Hover Pose. Firms shoulders, arms, abdominal muscles and back.
  5. Chair Pose. Firms buttocks and thighs.
For repetition and set information, as well as pictures of each exercise and ways to challenge yourself even more, check out the full article here.
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