Cardiovascular exercise is an important part of every heart healthy lifestyle. A good cardio workout gets your blood pumping to all of your extremities, burns fat and calories, and helps release stress relieving endorphins. Most importantly of all, cardiovascular exercise helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Every human body isn’t primed for running a marathon or pumped up aerobics classes, and that’s okay. There are plenty of low impact cardiovascular workouts that can help you shape up. Here are some great low impact heart healthy exercises for you to try:
Swimming is a nearly perfect exercise. Not only does the water take the strain off your muscles and joints, but it literally works your entire body. When you are swimming, every muscle is working as well as your cardiovascular system. The weightlessness of the water soothes, while still creating resistance.
Swimming is also great because it can be done at just about every level. Whether you are swimming laps, splashing around, or simply treading water, you are getting a great workout.
Another water based workout, water aerobics is a great opportunity for some fun and heart healthy group exercise. Water aerobics classes are available at gyms and health centers almost everywhere, offering a great chance for some fun exercise with other people just like you. Just like with regular swimming, the water helps keep the workout easy and low impact, while creating enough resistance to be a fantastic exercise.
As simple as it sounds, just plain walking is a great and underrated cardiovascular exercise. Jogging or running puts a lot of strain on the body, especially the joints, as your body hits the ground with each stride. Instead, walking does not shock the body like running does. Going for a leisurely, or brisk, walk at your own pace helps get that heart pumping just as well and is certainly more sustainable than sprinting.
Especially because it can be done according to your own pace and abilities, dancing is a great low impact cardiovascular exercise that people rarely consider. Your body is moving, from your feet to your arms, and don’t forget those hips. From ballroom to hip hop, dancing is a great exercise at every speed and level. Simply turn on some music and move.
These great exercises prove that you can get a great heart healthy cardiovascular workout without being too hard on your body. You should always talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen or before making any dietary changes. With a list like this on hand, your doctor is sure to be proud of your new knowledge of low impact heart healthy exercises. For more information on heart health, click here.