Exercises for a healthy heart
It’s no news that exercise makes you healthy. And even though you are well aware of the many benefits of exercising, your busy schedules don’t allow you to make time for the workouts.
Here are a few compound exercises that will not only get over within 30-40 minutes, but also promote a strong and healthy heart. It is also recommended that you do this in the presence of a certified fitness trainer if you haven’t exercised in the past. Ensure that you have properly warmed up and have done some light stretching before you start any of these exercises.
Burpees are the most effective free-weight (body-weight) compound exercise that not only set your heart racing, but also burn that stubborn belly fat as they target all major muscle groups. This means more blood flow required to ensure that the muscles are getting necessary oxygen, and hence more pumping of the heart.
How to do a burpee?
Start by standing in an upright position. Bend down and place your hands on the ground as close to your feet as possible, jump to the pushup position, jump back to bending position with your hand touching the ground in front of your feet, and then go back to the upright position. This is one burpee.
For beginners, aim to complete 10 burpees. For advanced levels, add a push-up at the bottom and increase reps to 15-20
As the name suggests, you run in intervals of 30-45 seconds. You need a timer for this one. A digital watch with a circuit timer will be helpful.
How to run in intervals?
Jog for 30-45 seconds, and then run as fast as you can for 30-45 seconds. This is one circuit.
For beginners, aim to complete 6-8 circuits of 30-30 seconds each. For advanced levels, try 45-45 second splits and try to complete 10-15 circuits. As you get better at it, you will realize that you do not need to do more circuits as you will expend as much energy possible doing 10-15 circuits.
Your legs make up 50% of your body and have four big muscles – hence the name quadriceps or quads. When you squat, you engage all of these muscles which amounts to significant effort. You body need more oxygen and your heart reacts to this by pumping faster.
Besides being a good workout, squatting also releases a heavier dose of natural testosterone, which in turn promote overall good health.
How to squat?
Begin with your feet shoulder-length apart. Lift the weight (barbell or overhead dumb-bells), bend at your waist and your knees to go into the squatting position till your thighs are parallel to the ground, ensure that your knees don’t go beyond your toes and come back to the natural upright position. This is one repetition. Repeat this with weight to complete a minimum of 10-15 repetitions. Increase the weight slowly, till you can do max 8-10 repetitions.
For beginners, start with free-weight (body-weight) squats to learn the proper form. For advanced levels, start increasing weights for subsequent sets till you can do a maximum of 8-10 repetitions with correct form.
These exercises target all the biggest muscle groups of your body and help in strengthening your overall physical structure. They promote blood flow and effect increased pumping that keeps your heart healthier for longer.
Stay tuned for more such exercises…