Most of us are well aware that exercise can help to keep our heart healthy by reducing the risk of heart disease. Experts at many a London Cardiovascular Clinic would recommend 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week to help keep our blood pressure and cholesterol in check. There are lots of ways to achieve that and it’s especially easy when the weather is nice and you can get outdoors. Here are some of the best ways to raise your heart rate this summer:

1. Walk

Walking is a safe, easy, convenient and inexpensive form of exercise and Harvard  researchers have suggested that just 21 minutes walking per day can cut the risk of heart disease by 30%. Those 30 minutes don’t even need to be all in one go, you can break it down into smaller chunks. Why not walk to work, to the shops or take a brisk stroll around a park.

2. Run

Running can be even better than walking and is also easy and inexpensive. High intensity aerobic exercise such as running is great for reducing cardiovascular risk factors. The same Harvard study suggests that people who run for at least one hour per week cut their heart disease risk by up to 42%.

3. Swim

Swimming is one of the best aerobic exercises you can do and it puts less stress on joints and bones than running or walking. In nice weather you can take advantage of some of the UK’s brilliant lidos or for the more adventurous, maybe try some wild swimming. Swimming is also something that is easy to incorporate into your routine on holiday.

4. Cycle

Bike riding is great aerobic exercise. The benefits are the same whether the bike is stationary or on the road but getting outdoors on country roads is a great way to add in some fresh air and fun too. Sightseeing on a bike is another lovely way of incorporating exercise into your holidays.

5. Dance

Have you considered dancing your way to a healthier heart? As long as you’re achieving a good aerobic heartbeat of 120 – 135 beats per minute then dancing can be a great fun exercise. There are lots of dancing exercise classes, or if you prefer to choose the music then you can still achieve the benefits by dancing at home.

6. Lift Weights

Weight training can reduce your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol as well as helping you to manage blood sugar levels. Lifting weights helps you to increase lean muscle tissue and decrease the fatty tissue.

7. Meditate

Tai Chi is a moving meditation using rhythmic motion which requires deep breathing and concentration. This is great for body and mind, including the heart.

8. Yoga

Yoga can help you to manage stress and anxiety as well as decreasing cholesterol and lowering blood pressure, which in turn keeps your heart healthy.

 

9. Climb

Climbing, including stairs at home, is an easy way to get into the target range of aerobic exercise. Maybe the great view isn’t the only reason to tackle that hill on holiday.

10. Dig

Gardening can provide a great workout and can be inclusive of the whole family. If you tend a vegetable patch whilst you’re working, your heart could reap the healthy benefits of fresh food as well.

Heart healthy exercise doesn’t need to feel like chore, especially in summer when it’s a great excuse to get outdoors and have fun. Exercise can be incorporated into everyday life without too much effort and even built into holiday activities.

 

 

W | By David Milsont                             @DMilsont 


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