When we say cardio, we often think of running or cycling.
While these types of exercises are also beneficial to help improve cardiovascular health, staying active overall is a good way to maintain a healthy heart and avoid heart-related diseases.
Cardio exercises elevate your heart rate, making your blood pump faster. This delivers more oxygen throughout your body, which keeps your heart and lungs healthy.
It further helps avoid conditions like diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc.
There are many low-intensity and low-impact exercises that can be done to improve your quality of health.
Here are the top 5 recommended workout forms to keep the blood pumping:
1. Strength training
While it might be slower in pace and not perceived as a cardio workout, performing at the right intensity can help elevate the heart rate. Furthermore, resistance training can help increase lean muscle mass which is beneficial to decrease the chances of chronic conditions.
2. Yoga or Pilates
These forms of exercises are known to improve overall health and wellbeing while focusing on breath, flexibility, and balance. Research says that beyond off-loading stress, practicing yoga may help lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood glucose levels, as well as heart rate, making it a useful lifestyle intervention.
It is probably the most easy and simple exercise to do, but also very effective. Walking can be done anywhere and anytime, and also at the pace that you wish to. Other ways to make your walks more challenging are by walking with some weights in hand, adding more distance every time you go for a walk or even adding short jogs in between.
4. Play a sport
When you play a sport that you like, you’re sure to have fun while you’re at it and also not overexert yourself. Most sports demand rapid movements and this can in turn elevate the heart rate when done for a duration of time. It can be a fun but effective approach to cardio based workouts.
5. Just be active all day
While all the above workouts, including cardio exercises, can be really beneficial to improve heart health, nothing beats the perks of staying active throughout the day. This helps increase NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) which further increases ones’ energy expenditure. This can include, walking, playing a sport, doing household chores or just switching options such as taking the stairs instead of the lift. You can also build a regime with all the above workout formats to have a holistic approach towards bettering your heart function, without adding a lot of running and/or cycling.