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Exercises for the Heart

Water aerobics exercise group doing guided aerobic exercise in an outdoor pool

The best way to be proactive with your heart health is to stay active! At AFC, we help patients learn new stretches and exercises that will nurture the entire body. Keeping your weight under control helps prevent high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. Knowing this, we would like to share with you the 3 types of exercise: aerobic exercise, resistance training, and flexibility workouts, each of which supports your health in different ways. Here are the different ways to exercise:

1. Aerobic Exercise

This type of exercise improves circulation and lowers your resting heart rate. It also helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Examples of aerobic exercise include brisk walking, running, swimming, and cycling. To change up your aerobic exercise routine, you may also consider water aerobics and exercising using an aerobic step. 

What makes an activity aerobic is the steady exertion, causing your heart rate to increase and producing sweat. “Aerobic” means “using oxygen,” meaning exercise is only aerobic if you’re breathing steadily, breaking down the food storage in your body and converting it into energy. Aerobic exercise doesn’t just get your limbs working, it also uses a very important muscle: the heart. Routine aerobic exercise lowers the resting heart rate as the heart becomes a more powerful and effective muscle.

2. Resistance Training

This type of exercise targets fat and creates a leaner muscle mass. Resistance training, along with aerobic exercise, helps in raising good cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol. Examples of resistance training include weight machines, dumbbells and barbells, push-ups, and squats. 

Weightlifting and heart disease are intrinsically linked because lifting weights burns fat and clears out the arteries, reducing bad cholesterol and lowering the risk of heart attack. From arm workouts to leg workouts, all forms of weightlifting help against heart disease.

3. Flexibility Workouts

This type of exercise includes stretching and finding your balance. While flexibility and balance does not directly contribute to heart health, it still helps you stay free from joint pain and cramping, helping you to stay active and pursue other varieties of exercise. The purpose of flexibility workouts is to maximize your potential when doing aerobic exercise and resistance training. The most popular form of stretching is yoga, though similar stretching and balance techniques have been used all over the world. Visit us to create a flexibility workout regimen to support your aerobic exercise and resistance training efforts.

Important note: If you are at significant risk of heart attack or are experiencing heart disease, any changes to your exercise routine must be handled with care. Talk to a specialist at AFC to get started.

We are welcoming anyone who wants to make a lasting change for the better. Please make an appointment online anytime, or visit any of our 7 locations.