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5 Exercises That Will Improve Your Heart Health

Mollybob, Flickr

You listen to weather updates so you know how to dress. You wash your hands so you don’t get the flu. You wear your seatbelt to keep you safe in the car. You are a prevention machine. But are you working to prevent the number one cause of death for both men and women, heart disease? For American Heart Month, we’re focusing on ways to avoid this preventable disease. If you want to keep your heart healthy, one of the best things you can do is weekly aerobic activity.  Here are five exercises to keep your heart strong:

Walking/Running

It’s easy to tell yourself you that the gym is too far, that you don’t have time to drive there, and anyway where did you last leave your gym bag? That’s why walking or running is the perfect cut-out-the-excuses exercise that you can start today. All you need is a pair of comfortable shoes!

Music can help keep yourself going at a good pace, but the sounds of nature (or the city) can be enjoyable, too. Even better, as you adjust to your workout, you can easily push yourself by walking or running faster so that you’re continually improving your health.

Biking

Some people find running to be stressful on their joints. Cycling can be a great low-impact alternative that still keeps your heart pumping and getting strong. It’s also an activity that comes in all forms to fit your personality. If you like to exercise alone, you can grab a bike and hit the hills. If you prefer a group activity, many gyms offer cycling classes that will help keep you motivated. You can bike indoors, outdoors or even while you run errands. Not to mention, you might even lower your gas bill while you’re at it!

Cross-Country Skiing

It’s winter, it’s cold and snowy, and like many people, you might be thinking about postponing your exercise goals until the weather warms up. But now is the time to take advantage of one of the best activities you can do for all around health: cross-country skiing! This low-impact activity is a full-body workout that gets you outdoors and enjoying the beauty of winter. You will need special equipment, but most towns with downhill skiing also have cross-country trails and skis to rent or buy.

Swimming

One thing you never see is a fat, sick mermaid. That’s because swimming is one of the best aerobic exercises you can get. Not only does this incredible activity improve your heart health, it can also benefit your lungs and help you maintain a healthy weight. All that and it’s easy on your joints, making this exercise perfect for all ages. So come on in, the water’s fine!

Dancing

Sometimes the best way to get exercise is to participate in an activity that makes you forget how healthy you’re being. Aerobic dancing can do just that. With a variety of types, as Zumba, jazzercise or hip-hop, there’s a beat that will fit your style and get you moving. You can take a class or even practice moves at home, to your own personalized soundtrack. Just make sure you keep moving and both your heart and your mood are likely to benefit.

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