Your heart’s a muscle and it beats an average of 100,000 times a day. Like any other muscle, strengthening your heart helps it function optimally. So, how do you do that? You exercise it! Read on for our simple tips on getting started.
Five ways to exercise your heart
1. Start now, wherever you are
You don’t have to spend hours at the gym in order to give your heart a good workout. It can be intimidating to get started, but it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Wherever you are in your exercise journey, go a step farther. So, if you don’t do much exercise now, start with just five minutes of whatever movement you’re comfortable with.
2. Get your heart rate up
Pick an activity you enjoy that can get your heart rate up. Dancing to your favorite songs, bowling and even shopping can count as exercise as long as you’re working up a sweat.
3. Up the heart rate, lower the stress
Look at movement as a form of stress relief and add exercise into your stress management toolkit. Working out pumps up your feel-good endorphins, which can improve your mood.1
4. Break activity into smaller chunks
Once you get going, 10 is your golden number. Do some form of physical activity, such as walking on your lunch break, three times a day for 10 minutes to help lower blood pressure and increase your heart rate.
5. Go beyond cardio
Believe it or not, it’s not all about the cardio. Strengthening your muscles can help improve your heart health, too. Resistance can be as simple as using your own body weight like wall or table pushups, leg lifts, calf raises or squats using a chair for balance. Lifting any weight like water bottles or canned foods while watching your guilty-pleasure show can be an inexpensive way to make a difference.2
Making heart-healthy changes can help reduce your risk of heart disease. If you’re in need of some motivation and accountability to stick with your heart health goals, schedule a virtual visit with a Teladoc dietitian.
Check out more tips for ways to up your exercise game.