15 Aug What’s the best exercise for a healthy heart?
Aerobic exercise, also known as “cardio”, uses repetitive contraction of large muscle groups to get your heart beating faster. Research suggests that aerobic exercise is the most beneficial type of exercise to keep your cardiovascular system (CVS) which comprises of you – your heart and blood vessels – healthy, but what are the best exercises to ensure you have a healthy heart?
Exercising for a healthy cardiovascular system.
Our cardiovascular system is responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients throughout your body and by strengthening through physical activity, our CVS can be more efficient at doing this. A study conducted by Lavie et al (2019) showcased the impact sedentary lifestyles play on heart health, dubbing lack of physical exercise the leading modifiable risk factors worldwide for cardiovascular disease and mortality. According to the Heart Foundation, 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most, if not all, days can play a significant role in reducing the risk of heart disease or chronic illnesses associated with the CVS.
Alternate between higher intensity and steady-state cardio.
Alternate between High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) if you can, and Low-Intensity Steady State (LISS) cardio to add some variation into your daily aerobic regimen:
HIIT is a combination of brief, very-high intensity bursts of cardio exercise followed by equal or longer periods of rest. An example of a HIIT workout could be 30 seconds to a minute of sprinting, followed by a minute or two of walking or slow jogging.
In contrast to HITT, LISS is any form of cardio exercise where you maintain the same low-intensity cardio pace (that is, a steady-state) for a set period. An example of LISS exercise would be a comfortable, steady-paced walk.
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Lavie, C., Ozemek, C., Carbone, S., Katzmarzyk, P, and Blair, S., 2019. Sedentary Behavior, Exercise, and Cardiovascular Health. Circulation Research, 124(5) 799–815.
The Heart Foundation, 2019. Active Living, Get Active.
Accessed online via https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/active-living/get-active