Exercise Types for Heart Health

The heart is one of the strongest muscles in your body. It is responsible for pumping blood to the rest of your body and is working constantly. The average adult heart beats 72 times a minute, 100,000 times a day, 3.6 million times a year, and 2.5 billion times during a 70-year span. That’s a lot of pumping! Therefore, it’s important that your heart is both strong and can withstand long periods of high activity. 

Making sure that you’re incorporating cardiovascular exercises will help to strengthen your heart as well as improve endurance. It is important to consult with your doctor before making any major changes to your exercise routine. 


Walking can be a great way to strengthen your heart, especially speed-walking. It’s a great option for those with joint issues and requires no equipment other than a pair of sneakers. In addition, you can walk anywhere at any time. Some may even incorporate walking into their business day through walking meetings or treadmill desks. 


Running is one of the most popular forms of cardiovascular exercise. It will get your heart rate up quickly, and longer runs are great at improving endurance. While running can be intimidating to beginners, programs such as Couch to 5K can help to break running up and make it manageable if you have never run before. 


If you’re looking for a form of cardiovascular exercise that has a limited impact on your joints, swimming is a great option for you. Whether you swim laps or take a water aerobics class, spending time in the pool will help to strengthen your entire body, including your heart. Indoor pools can allow you to keep swimming all year, long after summer. 

Weight Training 

The heart may not be the first muscle you think of when you think of lifting weights. However, building the other muscles in your body will help to build up muscle in your heart. Weight training is a very effective way to build muscle mass and burn fat, something that will help your heart. Don’t be intimidated by the thought of lifting weights- your body weight can work just fine. Exercises such as push-ups, squats, pull-ups, and lunges are great ways to build muscle and get your heart rate up. 


Yoga is more than just a time to get in touch with your mind and body. It offers a great way to strengthen your muscles, including your heart. Certain types of yoga, such as hot yoga which is done in a warm room, can greatly increase heart rate. 

In addition to increasing heart rate, yoga can help to increase overall heart health. It can serve as a stress outlet and has even been linked to success with quitting smoking. These two factors greatly aid in improved heart health and decrease the risk for heart disease or heart attack.  

Interval Training 

Interval training includes alternating short bursts of intense activity, typically 30 seconds, with longer intervals of less intense activity, typically one to two minutes. Interval training is a great tool for improving heart health. It allows you to get a great workout in a shorter period of time- because of the intensity, shorter interval training workouts can achieve the same results as a longer workout. 

Another benefit of interval training is that there are endless possibilities. You can vary your exercises and you can do them anywhere. Interval training can incorporate running, swimming, or weight lifting exercises. You can try sprinting or jogging for 30 seconds followed by a one-minute walk. Or, you could incorporate body-weight exercises such as burpees or jump squats for 30 seconds and hold a plank for your one-minute rest.


Biking or cycling is another heart-healthy form of exercise that can have less impact on the joints. Because it incorporates larger muscles in your body, biking gets your heart rate up quickly. 

When it comes to exercises for heart health, there’s something for everyone. Whether you go on power walks or put on your goggles and go for a swim, you’re doing something and your heart will thank you for it!