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Get your body moving and your heart pumping!

Improving your cardiovascular fitness only takes a few minutes out of your day! You can start slow and build up to 30 minutes, five days a week and eventually to one hour, five days a week.

It may seem like a daunting task to begin an exercise routine so we wanted to provide you with 5 ideas of how you can get started and eventually build up your exercising to keep your heart pumping:

  1. Walking

Your feet are meant for walking, and that’s just what they will do. Nowadays, people tend to skip the gym, skip the walk to work, or even skip taking the stairs to the second floor of their office. Any way of avoiding extra steps is a norm for society today. Brisk walking is a way to improve your heart health. Any movement is better than sitting still when it comes to improving your heart health. Though an easy stroll is better than sitting on your couch, try achieving a moderate intensity level by fast pacing! 

  1. Running

Walking isn’t challenging enough for you? Try another exercise which we as humans were built ready to try – running. Not only does this exercise help as a heart-healthy activity, it also assists with losing weight, which reduces your risk of heart disease. If you are just starting out as a runner, start off with 5 minutes of fast pacing with 1-2 minutes of running. The fitter you become, the more minutes you can add into your running routine.

  1. Swimming

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. We all know that floating in the pool is one of the most relaxing times we could ask for, but the water can be used for a more heart-healthy challenge. Two ways of doing this in a pool are: swimming laps and joining a water fitness class. This can also be an alternative for people who tend to have joint problems (since walking or running can aggravate these areas).

BONUS: Not only will swimming raise your heart rate and improve your heart health, but the water you are in provides a multi-directional resistance that will improve both your muscular strength and muscular tone!

  1. Circuit Training

Tired of the plain old aerobic exercise? Have no fear - just add a mix of cardio to shake things up! These types of trainings help keep you motivated, build your muscles, strengthen your endurance but most importantly helps the heart stay heathy. “Weight training is critical for people with heart disease,” says Dr. Paul Oh, medical director of the Cardiac Rehabilitation and Secondary Prevention Program at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.  An example would be for every 3 minutes of cardio, do at least one high intensity exercise or strength training exercise for a minute! Try this at home!

  1. Cycling

Another low impact exercise that can be easy on your joints is cycling! Whether it’s in the gym, in a spin class with a friend, or on a ride around the block, cycling is a very efficient cardiovascular activity. Your heart will thank you once you start cycling because you will help elevate your heart rate by using your large muscle groups in the legs!

Have other heart healthy exercises you’d recommend? Share them with the QOL Family on our Facebook page!

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