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Among the four basic elements of physical fitness, cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength and flexibility, cardiovascular endurance is the most vital. Cardiovascular endurance can be developed through exercises which improve the body’s ability to deliver large amounts of oxygen to the working muscles. Practicing aerobic exercises, enables the heart to pump more blood and deliver more oxygen with greater efficiency.
Aerobic exercises are those which employ large muscles continuously and in a rhythmic manner over and over again. Aerobic exercise, which includes walking, swimming, cross-country skiing, bicycling, and running among others, is a great way of ensuring that your heart, as well as your lung, is fit and in top condition.
To keep your heart healthy, devote 30 minutes of your day, five days a week, to aerobic exercises ranging from moderate to vigorous.
- Walking: At the top of the list of aerobic exercise is walking. It is an inexpensive way of keeping yourself fit and is safe, fun and can be adjusted into your normal working day; you can walk to your office, to your grocery store and also in your neighborhood without interrupting your flow of the day.
- Running: Running is an excellent cardiovascular workout. It also helps to tone the muscles and shed those extra kilos. Running increases the body’s cardiovascular endurance, thereby reducing the risks of life-threatening and complicated diseases such as coronary heart disease.
- Regular Cycling: Cycling regularly, reduces the chances of coronary heart disease considerably. A bike ride involves the motion of the large muscles of your legs and thus is good exercise for not only your heart but for your weight loss also. You can also use a stationary bike at home for achieving the purpose.
- Swimming: Swimming, one of the most popular sports activity, is another powerful aerobic exercise. Two and a half hours of swimming in a week is good enough to arm you with a healthy heart. Swimming also ensures that your bones and joints are exposed to less stress, which is good for those who are overweight or those who have arthritis, a joint condition.
- Cross Country Skiing: An excellent aerobic workout, cross country skiing requires navigation through snow-covered mountainous terrains. Even when going downhill, navigating depends on your body’s strength and stride and not on gravity. One of the top Nordic sports, cross country skiing maintains an elevated heart rate and hence, improves cardiovascular health.
- Dancing: Dancing is a way of rhythmic aerobic exercise. The only things that you will need is some space and good music to motivate you to take up the steps.
- Yoga: Though yoga does not appear to be an ideal way of taking care of your heart, but it is. Yoga is neither an aerobic nor an anaerobic exercise. It is a combination of stretching, breathing, relaxing and meditating poses and provides physical and mental relaxation.
People who are at stress are at greater risk of developing heart disease. The trick is to keep your nervous system relaxed during those moments of stress. This is where yoga helps. Regular practice of yoga improves stress-related imbalances and prevents the risk of cardiovascular disease. Ashtanga and Bikram offers cardiovascular benefits as these styles elevate your heart rate throughout the period.
Lack of exercise ends up making too many people pant after the simple task of just climbing up a flight of stairs. Exercising is a great way of keeping your heart hale and hearty. Click here to learn how to keep your heart healthy.