Exercise Tips for a Healthy Heart

In order to stay fit and maintain a healthy weight, a little cardio goes along way.  Not only do cardio activities help you lose weight by allowing your body to burn calories faster, but they also enable your body to build muscle, and most importantly keep your heart healthy.

When exercising you want to get into your target heart rate zone, and cardio does just that.  Cardio activities increase your heart rate, which makes your heart stronger.  In turn, these exercises decrease how hard your heart has to work to pump blood.  Blood flows more easily and your risk of heart attack, stroke, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure are significantly reduced.   To figure out your target heart rate, check out this heart rate calculator.

Some of the best exercises to get into your target heart rate zone are (make sure to click on all the links for workout tips and info!):

  • Running- While running is exercise in its simplest form, it’s not for everyone; some find it boring and unfulfilling.  If running doesn’t really do it for you, try livening it up with interval training, sprints, or ladders.
  • Bicycling- A great activity for your joints, also makes for a good cross-training activity.  Incorporating bike riding as a form of transportation can strengthen your heart and save you money on gas.  During the colder months, you can stay fit by taking spinning classes at a local gym or recreation center.
  • Cross-Country Skiing- Utah doesn’t have the world’s greatest snow on earth for nothing!  While we’re most known for our “awesome pow” and fantastic, steep mountains, our state boasts a lot of fantastic cross-country skiing trails too.
  • Swimming- A very low-impact sport, swimming is a great exercise for anyone with joint pain or orthopedic injuries.
  • Sports- Soccer, basketball, tennis, rowing, racquetball, and hockey are some of the best sports to play when trying to get a good cardio workout.

So there you have it.  Now the ball is in your court, literally. No matter what, it’s time to get your heart rate going and stay active!

At the Weight Treatment Center at St. Mark’s one of our goals is to provide a community for people to share their success stories.  If you have a favorite workout that has helped you lose weight, we would love to hear about it!  Leave us a comment and share some of your best workouts with us.


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