Alfred Sparman Provides a List of Heart Healthy Exercise Options

two people walking in the countryside

Regular exercise is the key to better health. Combined with a heart-healthy diet, exercise can help to prevent high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Cardiologist Dr. Alfred Sparman explores the different exercises which should be performed in order to keep in good shape.

Yoga

Yoga focuses on stretching and strengthening the muscles and tendons. When people engage in a regular yoga practice, they are more likely to avoid overuse injuries and to have an easier time performing other types of exercise. It helps increase lean muscle and provides a great bodyweight exercise. Yoga is also excellent for mental health, helping people gain a sense of calm and balance.

Walking

While many people may believe that you need to join a gym to begin an exercise program, it can be as simple as putting running shoes on and going out to walk. Even if you can only start with 10 to 15 minutes of walking at a time, every little bit helps. Eventually, your endurance will build, and you will be able to walk for up to an hour. Walk briskly for the most benefits. Walking is one of the most accessible forms of exercising, and it has many heart benefits.


Running

When you have been walking for several weeks or months, you may feel that you need to go faster. Jogging or running is an excellent exercise. However, it is necessary to protect your joints when you run. Older people or overweight people may have a difficult time running due to stress on the joints. Brisk walking has as many heart benefits as jogging.

Swimming

Swimming is a great low-impact alternative to walking or running. It is excellent for overweight people, older people, and pregnant mothers. Swimming provides a full-body workout, building lean muscle and increasing endurance.

Weight Training

Resistance training helps to build bone health and makes your other forms of exercise more rewarding. When you build your muscle strength using weightlifting or bodyweight exercises, you will find that you have more stamina and are more ready to meet the challenges of fitness and daily life.

Cycling

Cycling has little impact on the joints, but it can be a vigorous form of exercise. Bicycling is especially good for the lower body. Whether you take to the road or use a stationary bicycle, you can build heart health, muscle, and endurance.

Sports

Team and individual sports are fantastic ways to build your overall level of fitness. Playing basketball, baseball, or soccer increases cardiovascular health and endurance. Finding a team with people in your age group can be as simple as joining the local YMCA. Tennis is a particularly vigorous, full-body form of exercise.

Dancing

Aerobic dancing or classes like Zumba can be very beneficial. When you move your body to music, you will have an easier time forgetting that your body is hard at work and you may enjoy yourself more. Dancing also has social benefits, leading to better mental health.


Gardening

If you get tired and sweaty after you have been gardening, that is a good sign that you are getting a good workout. The physical movement involved in raking, shoveling, and mowing the lawn can be good supplements to your fitness plan.

Gym Exercises

Going to the gym has many health benefits. Using cardio equipment like stair-steppers and elliptical machines (cross trainers) can help you live a healthier life. It is important that you visit with a personal trainer at the gym to make sure that you are using the equipment properly and that you are not overextending yourself. A good personal trainer will be able to teach you to get the most out of your gym workout.

There are Many Choices

A combination of all of these activities will provide well-rounded physical fitness. Whatever you choose, make sure that you cross-train, including other exercises on alternate days. This can help to prevent overuse injuries like knee pain and muscle strains.

All forms of exercise are beneficial to the heart. Dr. Alfred Sparman encourages his patients to become more active to protect their heart health.

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