Santa Barbara
71° F
Santa Maria
70° F
San Luis Obispo
71° F
68° F

Various exercises can strengthen heart

Published On: Jul 02 2013 02:18:55 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 17 2013 09:21:16 AM CDT

Jane Hendry, Contributing writer

Regular exercise is one of the basic ingredients for maintaining a healthy heart, but in this day and age where everything is drive-through, Web-accessible or technology-enabled, the need for human movement has diminished.

However sedentary our lifestyle lets us be, our bodies need activity to stay healthy. It is no good having all you need at your fingertips if your organs are unhealthy.

WebMD advocates cardiovascular exertion as the most effective exercise, with stretching and weight training playing a supporting role.

Always consult your health professional before undertaking any form of exercise.

Cardiovascular Activity

The Franklin Institute's Center for Innovation in Science Learning offers some tips to help on the road to heart health that can be incorporated into everyday life. These include taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking as far as possible from your destination so that you have to walk and putting extra effort into housework to make it more strenuous.

While these tips are a good start, nothing beats a regular exercise routine, and it is important to choose something that you will enjoy so that you stay motivated to stick with. Good forms of cardiovascular exercise include swimming, which is an overall body workout and which really gets your heart pumping. Walking, when done with purpose, can be one of the most effective ways to keep your heart healthy. Running is well known for its overall health benefits and has a great impact on heart health in particular.

If you prefer to exercise at a gym there are always a great number of aerobic classes to choose from, including spinning, aerobics, Tae-bo and many more. You can also join a dance group and learn salsa or ballroom dancing, both of which are extremely good cardiovascular exercises and an added benefit is the social interaction that is an inherent part.

The American Heart Association advises that whichever option you choose, to be effective you must do it regularly, three to four times a week, for a minimum of 30 minutes and it must increase your heart rate for the duration. You can also break your exercise sessions down to 10 minutes three times a day, if necessary.


In order to ensure your muscles work to their best during aerobic exercise it is important to warm them up first, and this is where stretching comes in as a support exercise to aerobic activity. There are a number of different stretches you can do to target all the different muscle groups and WebMD offers some of the most effective ones to try.

Weight Training

The Franklin Institute says that while it is possible to attain a certain type of fitness with weight training, unless it is done in conjunction with aerobic exercise it will not have much of an impact on heart health.

It is therefore important to ensure that weight training is done in support of your cardiovascular exercise to ensure maximum benefits for your overall fitness as well as that of your heart.


According to the American Heart Association a lack of exercise is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke and is strongly linked to heart attacks.

The heart is a muscle and so, the stronger it is the more effective it will be in pumping blood around the body, improving oxygen transport and circulation. Also the more physical activity we do the better chance we have of lowering our blood pressure, and the less pressure there is on the heart the healthier it will be.

Physical activity gives us more energy to cope with our daily lives which means that we will feel less stress and thus reduce our chances of developing heart disease. So look after your heart by getting up and getting moving.


The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • fatal_accident_investigation

    Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.

  • State Street Benches Gone

    Benches Removed in Two Block Area of Downtown Santa Barbara

    Benches have been removed in a two block area of State Street between Haley and Ortega Streets in downtown Santa Barbara.  The city says they are being cleaned and repaired.

  • Santa Barbara County Sheriff s candidates forum

    Santa Barbara County Sheriff Candidates Face-Off

    Santa Barbara County Sheriff candidates squared-off at a candidates forum Wednesday night.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    3 Dead In Early Morning Accident, Driver Arrested For DUI

    The 101 southbound through Santa Barbara reopened just before 12:30 Monday afternoon as authorities investigate what they say was a deadly two car DUI accident.

  • fuzion_store_business_santa_barbara

    UCSB Group Boycotts Business For Promoting Deltopia

    A UCSB student group is boycotting a local business for creating the Deltopia Facebook page, which they said brought in thousands of outsiders to the small college town.

  • Roger Aceves Runs for Santa Barbara County Supervisor Seat

    Goleta Mayor Roger Aceves is running for Santa Barbara County Supervisor.

  • girl_child_coughing_sick_whooping_cough

    Contagious Diseases Making a Comeback in California

    Deadly diseases that were a thing of the past are making a comeback in California.

  • Ordinary Citizens Receive Awards for Acts of Heroism

    Ordinary Citizens Receive Awards For Acts of Heroism

    The Santa Barbara Police Department recognized some ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things. An awards ceremony was held Wednesday to recognize the acts of heroism.

    Each year officers nominate those in our community who they feel are deserving of the "Extra Step Awards" These awards recognize acts of heroism that include saving lives and aiding officers in fighting crime.

    A total of 8 people received the prestigious annual award sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Santa Barbara. They include:

    Daniel Green
    Mr. Green, Head of Security Operations at the Wildcat Lounge, assisted SBPD officers on multiple occasions in 2013 dealing with combative subjects and with alcohol-related, narcotics, and DUI investigations.  He was nominated by Officer Ethan Ragsdale.

    Thomas Eck
    Mr. Eck, the Santa Barbara High School Track Coach, prevented a felony fugitive from stealing a van and potentially driving through a crowd of student athletes and spectators leaving a track meet at Santa Barbara City College.  He was nominated by Officer Carl Kamin.

    William Barbaree & Nicholas McGilvray
    Mr. Barbaree and Mr. McGilvray performed lifesaving first aid, prior to the arrival of emergency personnel, to James Atwood and Ellen Atwood, two motorcyclists that had been struck by a drunk driver.  They were nominated by Officer Heather Clark.

    Devin Shaw, Eva Pagaling & Steffanie Colgate
    Mr. Shaw, Ms. Pagaling, and Ms. Colgate witnessed the hit-and-run collision that resulted in the death of Mallory Dies.  They pursued the suspect, tried to persuade him to return to the scene of the collision, called 9-1-1, and directed officers to the suspect's location resulting in his apprehension.  They were nominated by Officer Jaycee Hunter.

    Scott Houston
    Mr. Houston came to the aid of an officer struggling in the street with a bank robbery suspect, helping to detain the suspect until additional officers arrived on-scene.  He was nominated by Officer Richard Washington.

  • Lupita Nyong'o

    REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

    People's 'World's Most Beautiful' list 2014

    People magazine recently named Lupita Nyong'o its "World's Most Beautiful" for 2014. See which other ladies earned a coveted spot on the annual list.

  • Who's the Boss blurb image

    Sony Pictures Television

    Where are 'Who's the Boss?' stars now?

    With Tony Danza marking his 63rd birthday on Monday, join us for a look at what he and the rest of the cast of "Who's the Boss?" are up to today.