There’s almost nothing better for your heart than to get the rest of your body moving.
That shouldn’t be news to you.
Your heart is a muscle, and like other muscles, the best way to keep it healthy and strong is by regularly working it. Cardio is all about raising your heart rate to levels where it is being exercised. That’s why it’s so important.
Of course, it can be challenging to keep up with regular exercise. Life can get in the way, time is a commodity, and our bodies have limits. When exercise feels too much like a chore, it becomes easier to put off, and that’s when your risks for poor heart health begin to rise.
Plus, many of the most basic cardio exercises—like running—aren’t so easy if you’re overweight or simply unfit. Running may not be the best option for you. Fortunately, there are others.
Here are 4 recommended easy low-impact exercises for beginners:
Water-based exercise is perfect for anyone who doesn’t want joint pain to interfere with their newfound commitment to fitness. If you have access to a pool, swim some laps! It will get your heart pumping while building different muscle groups, all without the high impact of running or jumping.
Trade in the treadmill for another machine at your gym. Even a 10-minute interval workout can do wonders for your cardiorespiratory fitness, and your knees and ankles will thank you.
Rowing is a fully body workout that will burn (in a good way!) your upper body and legs while ramping up your heart rate.
It may not be an aerobic exercise, but a yoga practice that makes you sweat and tones your body is benefiting your cardio health while improving your flexibility.
And here are 3 additional things to keep in mind when it comes to cardio.
Proper stretching is essential when working muscles not often used. And your heart needs a warm-up as well. Before strenuous cardio, it is recommended to get moving first, even if it’s just walking.
Cardio is about health, not winning a race. As long as you’re up and moving, you’re doing well. Don’t push yourself to the point of quitting. Just aim for a little more every time you exercise.
The goal should be 30 minutes of heart-healthy physical activity every day. You can work your way up to that. 10-20 minutes will at least get your heart moving.