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3 Tips for a Heart-Healthy Workout

Heart-Healthy Workout

If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to start exercising, it’s not too late to get started.

In fact, having a workout routine can improve your heart health dramatically in as little as 30 minutes a day, according to the American Heart Association. The best news is that almost any movement that raises your heart rate can count as exercise, whether that’s walking, biking, swimming, or just vigorously cleaning the house and dancing with the mop as you go.

Here are three more tips for your heart-healthy workouts this year:

  1. Use the talk test to gauge intensity. It can be tricky to figure out if you’re working out hard enough or if you’re overdoing it. If you’re able to comfortably speak, you’re clicking along at a good pace — any struggling to speak means that you’re going too hard.

If you’re able to sing out loud as you go, you need to increase the intensity of your workout. Using a fitness band with heart rate monitoring can help you figure out just where your heart rate falls during your ideal workout intensity. Once that number’s established, you can check your pulse on your device in lieu of talking to yourself or singing in the gym.

  1. Remember that cutting up your workout is ok. Some people have the idea that you have to work out hard for a solid 30 minutes for it to count, so they avoid exercise because they don’t think they can fit that much time in at once. The good news is that it’s ok to break up your workout into 10- or 15-minute chunks spread throughout the day. Walk around your building for 10 minutes before going to work, spend 10 minutes at lunch doing it again, then take the long way out to your car at night and you’ll have accomplished 30 minutes of exercise with less effort than you might think.
  1. Just get started. The people most in need of heart-healthy workouts often feel like they can’t work out because they’re unable to exercise for even 10 minutes at a time. That’s ok — any exercise is better than none and as you exercise you’ll develop a tolerance for more of the same. It may sound trite, but even walking to the end of the driveway is a start to an exercise program that can make your heart stronger for the rest of your life.

No matter what workout you have planned for your cardiovascular health, these three tips will help get you started. Remember to speak to your doctor before starting or changing an exercise regimen and be sure to observe any exercise restrictions you may have in place for the very best results.