Improve your cardiovascular health with these exercises

3 types of exercise that will improve cardiovascular health

Good heart health is really important to enjoy a long and happy life – and activity has a big role to play in this. Exercise has many benefits for cardiovascular health, including strengthening your heart muscle, protecting against artery damage from high cholesterol and keeping your weight under control. The best approach to activity for cardiovascular health is a combination of different types of exercise – here are 3 that will help to improve your overall cardiovascular health.

Aerobic exercise

This kind of exercise has a lot of benefits for cardiovascular health, including lowering blood pressure and heart rate. It will increase overall aerobic fitness and also has some great benefits for your mental health. Plus, more aerobic exercise lowers the risk of conditions like diabetes and will improve the way that your heart pumps. There are many different types of aerobic exercise to choose from, including running, walking, swimming, cycling and playing sports like netball and tennis. Ideally, you’ll be able to do around 30 minutes daily, at least five days a week.

Resistance training

The big benefit of resistance training is that it can help to reduce fat and create leaner muscle mass, as well as increase good cholesterol and lowering bad cholesterol (when combined with aerobic exercise). If you are carrying a lot of fat around your middle, then this can be a big risk factor for heart disease so it’s important to start taking steps to help reduce this if you’re looking to improve overall cardiovascular health.

Resistance training is a great way to do this as it can have a big impact on your body composition and help to shift towards a leaner and healthier shape. In reality, resistance training can look very different for different people, depending on your current level of strength and fitness. For example, it could be working out with free weights, such as hand weights of dumbbells) or using weights machines. You can also use your own body weight, through resistance bands or push-ups, for example.

Stretching, balance and flexibility

When you commit to stretching, balance and flexibility, you’re investing in your musculoskeletal health – and it’s this that will enable you to continue to do the aerobic and resistance training that is so important for improving cardiovascular health. So, while stretching, balance and flexibility activities don’t directly improve heart health, they make it possible for you to consistently do the exercise that will.

From being flexible to be able to maintain stability and avoid falls, there are lots of benefits to investing time in activities like this. Stretching, balance and flexibility exercises could be anything, from yoga to Tai Chi. The best way to integrate this into your exercise routine is to commit to a session every single day – and to add extra sessions before and after exercise.

If your priority is to improve your cardiovascular health, a combination of aerobic and resistance exercises – supported by stretching, balance and flexibility activities – will help you to do it.

Chase Lodge Hospital ‘One-Stop’ Heart Clinic

Our cardiology team is here to diagnose, assess and treat cardiovascular conditions — diseases of the heart and blood vessels.

From your initial assessment to after-care, our consultant cardiologists and clinical staff provide the highest standard of care throughout your journey to better health.

Learn more