According the World Health Organization, 17.5 million people die from cardiovascular diseases every year; this number is estimated to be 31% of all deaths globally. Cardiovascular disease is the umbrella term for the diseases that concern the heart and circulation, which include angina, congenital heart disease, coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Besides following an unhealthy diet and smoking, physical inactivity is one of the causes of cardiovascular disease. As such, regular exercise cannot be overemphasised. In fact, exercising for at least 30 minutes a day can prevent heart attacks and strokes.
Cardio or aerobic exercises can be good for your heart as they allow your heart to beat faster, improving your blood circulation. Here are examples of aerobic exercises you can do to improve your heart health:
Too busy to hit the gym, eh? Well, that is not necessarily an excuse to get some physical activity. Walking may well be the easiest form of exercise that you can fit into your everyday life. You can walk to the grocery store, walk to your favourite coffee shop, or walk your dog around the neighbourhood — they all count.
- Riding a bike
Exercising doesn’t necessarily mean torture. It can be fun, too. Going for a bike ride also counts as aerobic exercise. Take your bike instead of your car when possible, or just treat yourself to a bike ride at a park. Or, if it is not possible to cycle outside, a stationary bike surely helps.
If you can’t walk or ride a bike because you have joint problems, then swimming is easily the best aerobic exercise to improve your cardiovascular health. It is because it doesn’t put as much stress on your joints and bones as walking or cycling does.
Get yourself a good pair of shoes for dancing, and you can dance and exercise your way to health at the comfort of your own home. But of course, you can dance with others, too. Zumba, for instance, is a popular dance class that you can join. Not only will you get to exercise, you will get to socialise, too.
- Resistance Exercises
As important as aerobic exercise is, adding a little resistance to your weekly workout routine is just as crucial. Maintaining your muscle mass is key as you age and helps to improve your structure, posture, strength and also reduce injury. But as with all advice, start slowly. If you do lift weights, then be sure to use these white weight lifting gloves to protect those hands and nails.
If you are new to exercising, there are some things you have to remember, though; this will help prevent injury and allow you to get the most from your exercise.
One thing to remember is to start slow. While 30 minutes of physical activity is recommended, you don’t have to force yourself to do that right from the get go. Then gradually, you can have longer or more challenging workouts. How do you know that a workout is too intense for you? If you can’t talk during the workout, then it is most likely too intense for you.
Moreover, it is nothing but normal for you to have sore muscles when you start exercising; it will go away as you ease into your exercise routine. However, if you experience chest pain, feel weak, dizzy, or light-headed, or feel pain or pressure in your arm, chest, jaw, neck, or shoulder, then you are advised to stop exercising immediately. Then seek help as much as possible.