When you think about maintaining your heart health, you probably think of aerobic exercise first. This is the best type of exercise to help keep your heart healthy, but it's not the only type of exercise that can benefit you. If you want to look after your heart, you can find that other types of exercise also get your blood pumping or help to support the health of your heart in different ways. Combining different types of exercise will help you to stay healthy in multiple ways, including ensuring good heart health. Here are some exercises that can be surprisingly good for caring for your heart.
Many people think of strength training as something that you really only do if you want to get stronger. However, strength training or resistance training is also very good for your cardiovascular health. When you do bicep curls or cable back workouts, your muscles need to work harder. When your muscles are stronger, it can help to reduce the strain on your heart. You can lose fat and build lean muscle mass and when combined with aerobic exercise it might help to increase “good” cholesterol and reduce “bad” cholesterol.
Whether yoga and other types of stretching exercises can directly benefit heart health isn't certain. Some experts say that the main benefits are helping to improve musculoskeletal health so that you are able to do aerobic and resistance exercise. Additional benefits could include the possibility of yoga helping to lower blood pressure and other cardiovascular issues. Plus, yoga and gentle stretching exercises can be good ways to reduce stress, which also helps to make your heart healthier. Some people even use yoga to help them quit smoking, which is another way it could help to improve heart health and other areas of health too.
Similarly, balance exercises don't necessarily help your heart health directly, but they can make your heart healthier in an indirect way. Balance exercises are often linked to flexibility and stretching, and can include activities such as Tai Chi. Balance exercises can reduce the risk of falls, which can be especially important for anyone who has had health problems with their heart before. If you have had a stroke or another heart health incident, improving your balance may be an important part of your recovery. Having good balance can improve your health in other areas and allow you to do different types of exercise.
You don't need to be at the gym to be doing something that counts as exercise. Many of the everyday activities that you do can also count as exercise. Whether you are walking around if you have errands to do or spending some time doing some gardening, being active in different ways can be good for your heart. More intense aerobic exercise can get your blood pumping more, but even the little things are good for you.
Aerobic exercise is good for your heart, but other types of exercise can help you to stay heart healthy too.