Building Cardio: The 5 Best Exercises for Heart Health

best exercises for heart health

Start Doing These Heart Healthy Exercises

Because your heart is a big muscle, it becomes healthier and stronger if you have an active lifestyle. You don’t have to be a talented athlete to start exercising and lead a healthy life. Even walking for 30 minutes daily can make a big difference. Check out these heart-healthy exercises!

Heart-healthy exercises

We all know that we need to keep our heart in tip-top shape to live a long, active life.

People who fail to exercise regularly are more likely to get heart-related complications compared to active people.

Building Cardio 5 Heart Healthy ExercisesAn active lifestyle can help your heart in many ways. Regular exercise will help reduce the level of your blood pressure, boost your good cholesterol (HDL), burn calories and reduce bad cholesterol (LDL).

With these benefits in mind, it’s a clear winning situation to learn and focus on heart-healthy exercises, such as the ones below.

1. Running

Running is one of the activities that your body was made ready to do. It is also a good way to get rid of excess calories, and an excellent way to keep you in shape. Plus, running intervals will improve your heart health. When combined with a well-balanced diet, you can easily lose weight and greatly reduce the chances of suffering from heart-related diseases.

Running eliminates some of the carbohydrates and glycogen that are stored in the muscles, and this allows you to tap into the stored fats more easily.

2. Walking

Your body was designed to walk, and brisk walking is one of the natural ways of keeping your body fit. Although walking is much better than spending time on your couch, make an effort to achieve a faster pace as you walk to attain moderate power levels.

Try to challenge yourself by increasing your pace a bit more each day, power walking, or walking uphill to keep your heart rate up. You can also pair running with walking: walk a certain distance, then sprint that same distance before switching to walking again. This will keep your heart engaged and fit.

3. Cycling

One of the cardiovascular activities that won’t negatively affect your joints is cycling. It is a low control type of workout that you can easily do in a spin class, gym, or outside on the trails or road alone. If you enjoy having company, you can join a cycling club.

As your heart pumps faster, you will also be toning the lower part of your body and building strength, especially if you decide to take your bike off-road.

According to recent research, cycling regularly was found to reduce the risk for coronary heart disease. The results proved that cycling 20 miles every week can reduce the chances of experiencing heart-related complications by more than 50%. This is because cycling uses your large leg muscles to increase your heart rate.

4. Swimming

Your heart and lungs will love this workout. Although your pool is a good place to relax, you can use the water to challenge your body fitness. Professionals recommend swimming laps because they can improve your cardiovascular health by increasing your heart rate.

If you have joint problems, and you experience difficulties in running or walking, swimming is a good alternative. Water is more resistant to air while moving through it, giving you some added resistance when exercising.

Building Cardio 5 Heart Healthy Exercises5. Weight Training

This type of exercise is especially important for people who have heart-related diseases. Other than helping your body to build muscles by burning fat, weight training also strengthens the heart and bones. If you are trying to choose the best type of weight training, you can begin by using your own body weight.

The primary challenge is following the proper progression. However, you can adjust the tempo of your body movement to challenge your body further.

How They Work

These cardiovascular exercises involve the use of your large muscles in a repetitive mode that activates the muscle fibers. The muscle fibers are programmed to utilize and endure a heart rate ranging between 50 and 80 percent of your highest heart rate.

When you perform cardio exercises, the blood is channeled towards the active muscles and away from areas that aren’t as active. This leads to better blood flow due to the increased amount of blood flowing back to the heart.

Soon, your left ventricle will adapt and enlarge due to the increased blood capacity.

This will enable your heart to hold more blood pumped from your body, and pump back more blood per every beat.


Heart disease is the leading cause of death for most people in the United States, so it pays to do everything you can to make your heart as strong as possible.

And you’ll feel energized and happy to boot!

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.
Dixie Somers
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Building Cardio: The 5 Best Exercises for Heart Health