Your heart is important. You know that. You can’t live without it, so you have to take care of it. Your heart is an organ and a muscle. You must exercise, stay active, and eat a balanced diet to keep your heart healthy.
Here are five of the best cardio routines for your heart:
- Run, jog, or walk. No, Ron Burgandy, the “j” isn’t silent. Jogging is a great way to promote heart health. If you’re not a runner and if you have a few extra pounds in the midsection like me, then you may want to start with a walk. That’s fine, that works too. As you progress and gain strength and stamina, pick up the pace and run for a few minutes. Your blood will start to pump, you’ll burn calories and you’ll have the energy you need to get things done.
- Ride a bike. Join a spin class, strap on a helmet and scoot around a natural trail, or jump on a stationary bike and read a book. Cycling will increase your heart rate, make you sweat, and will keep you in shape for years to come. If you’re nervous to run or push yourself too hard for fear of injury, ride a bike. The strain on your body isn’t as intense and you it’s easy to control the intensity of your workouts.
- Swim. Take a dip. Swimming is a full-body exercise. You’ll work your core, legs, arms, shoulders, neck, you name it. Yes, the pool at your local gym might be freezing, but you’ll warm up after a few strokes. Like biking, swimming isn’t as taxing on your body, so you don’t have to worry as much about injuries.
- Workout in intervals. Many people, myself included, get stuck in boring workout routines. We find a machine we love and we show up, day after day, sweating on the same elliptical for the same amount of time. Stop that! Spice shiz up and realize the benefits of interval training. Alternate between more than one type of exercise. Incorporate different lifts, machines, and stretches. Create workouts that train a variety of muscles and that make you excited to get back to the gym.
- Stay active. A lot of us sit for extended of periods of time every day. We can’t avoid it. We have to smack away on a keyboard to make money. There’s no way around being inactive for large chunks of our lives. What can we do? We can make an effort to remain active. Take breaks, go for a walk over lunch, hit the gym before or after work. When you get home, garden, mow the lawn, or run around the yard with your kids. Do whatever you can to stay active.