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Heart-Healthy Exercises at Any Age

By Sarah S – Jenny Craig

Maintaining a regular exercise schedule can be challenging for everyone, no matter your age. However, as we get older, joints and muscles can become more at-risk for inflammation and soreness–and aches and pains can make it harder to want to get moving. We get it–sometimes it just feels good to lounge on the couch! But did you know that one of the five major risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease is a sedentary lifestyle?1 Keeping up with a workout routine that makes you feel great can also help to strengthen your heart muscle as well as improve your overall lifestyle. By finding an activity that you enjoy, it may be easier to incorporate it into your daily routine. Here are 5 different heart-healthy exercises to try at any age:

Build Your Strength

HeartHealthyExercises_Strength.jpgStrength training is an important cardiovascular exercise for keeping your heart healthy.2 This doesn’t mean you have to lift heavy weights or incorporate high-intensity sessions. You can try a simple circuit-based heart-pumping workout, by combining weights with cardio and stretching. If you’re unsure which exercises to do, weight-bearing exercises in a class setting can be a great option; as the instructor can modify your activities for safety. Even if it is only for 30 minutes, strength training is a great healthy-heart fitness option that will keep your blood flowing.3

 

Walk it Out

Walking is one of the simplest heart-healthy cardio exercises, and anyone can benefit from a 30-minute brisk walking session a few times per week.4 Walking is the perfect low-impact aerobic exercise for those who want to maintain their muscles as they age.5 Plus, it's a great heart-healthy exercise to enjoy with friends or a partner. So, meet a walking buddy at a local park, catch up, and get moving together!

 

Pedal OnHeartHealthyExercises_Bike.jpg

Hop on a bike for a heart-healthy, high-energy workout that will give your body and mind a quick boost. Whether indoors on a stationary bike or outside in the fresh air, this low-impact exercise helps increase the heart rate while strengthening the lower body.6 Another benefit: it’s easy on the joints.7 Plus, it’s a great way to de-stress and relax! 

 

Stretch & Tone

Stretching and toning exercises like yoga are ideal for keeping you and your healthy-heart strong.  Gentle stretching can help increase blood circulation throughout your body and can also help improve flexibility.

 

Hit the PoolHeartHealthyExercises_Swim.jpg

Swimming is another low-impact cardio exercise that can offer several benefits, such as torching calories and increasing your lung and heart function.8 Hopping in the pool just a couple of times a week can also give you a total body workout. Not only is swimming joint-friendly, but it also doesn’t require any special equipment beyond a bathing suit.

Consistent exercise is one of the easiest ways to lead a heart-healthy life.9 Always consult with your doctor before starting an exercise program. If you are trying a new physical activity routine for the first time, consider working with a fitness instructor so that you can monitor any potential injury risk.

 

Are you ready to improve your heart health by incorporating not only fitness but also a nutritionally balanced meal plan to help you lose weight? Call us for your free appointment to learn more about how Jenny Craig consultants can help you add more activity into your life and get you on your way to achieving your weight loss goals.

 

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Sources:

[1] http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/107/1/e2

[2] http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/Strength-and-Resistance-Training-Exercise_UCM_462357_Article.jsp#.WtoX52uweUk

[3] http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/Strength-and-Resistance-Training-Exercise_UCM_462357_Article.jsp#.WtoX52uweUk

[4] http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/walking/art-20046261

[5] https://americanbonehealth.org/exercise/is-walking-good-for-bone-health/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19387377 

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5332914/ 

[8] https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/take-the-plunge-for-your-heart

[9] https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/5-ways-exercise-helps-men-live-longer-and-better


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