5 Important Exercises To Help Maintain Heart Health

These 5 exercises help boost and maintain heart health, helping your body meet the demands of daily activity.

By Dr. Heather Shenkman

8 minute read

Last Updated September 17, 2021

5 Exercises That Help Maintain Heart Health

The cardiovascular system, made up of the heart and blood vessels, is responsible for circulating blood through the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the organs. A healthy cardiovascular system supports overall health and function, helping the body meet the demands of daily activity. At the center of this system is the heart, which, like every other muscle in the body, can be strengthened with exercise. 

Extensive research demonstrates that there is a clear link between regular physical activity and cardiovascular health. The prevailing view is that more active individuals tend to have a lower risk of serious heart conditions

Physical activity supports heart health in several different ways. Improved muscular function and strength support the body’s ability to take in and use oxygen effectively, making activities easier. Exercise has also been shown to have a favorable effect on several risk factors for poor heart health, such as:

♦ Helping to support healthy weight management by burning calories and reducing fat storage in the body to reduce the risks that being overweight can have on the heart 

♦ Supporting healthy blood pressure levels, so the heart doesn’t have to work as hard to get blood pumped around the body 

♦ Helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels in the blood to reduce the risk of plaque formation in the arteries 

♦ Supporting the body’s ability to use insulin to maintain healthy blood glucose levels

Get Moving For Heart Health

Not getting regular exercise can increase your risk of heart conditions. By not exercising, you may be more than twice as likely to develop heart issues as someone who does exercise regularly. Regardless of your heart health, it is recommended that you develop a regular exercise routine. Experts recommend you spend at least 150 minutes per week doing moderate exercise. Below are the top five exercises to help maintain heart health and healthy circulation. 

Elderly couple walking to stay healthy

1. Walking

Walking is the easiest way to exercise. All you need is a pair of good shoes and a safe place to walk. A brisk walk that gets your heart rate up will improve your energy levels and help keep your heart healthy. Walking is a great first step in promoting healthy heart function, and these tips can help you get started.

♦ At work or running errands, park your car far from the entrance so that you can fit more steps into your day.

♦ Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Wear a pedometer, smart watch, or fitness tracker and set attainable goals to stay motivated.

♦ Set a timer to get up and move around the office at least once an hour.

♦ Schedule a daily lunchtime walk outside with coworkers or friends.

2. Weight training

Weight (strength) training can help your body appear more toned and has many benefits for the heart. Strength training increases lean muscle mass, which will help you burn fat which can help support a healthy weight. By maintaining a healthy weight, your heart does not have to work as hard to pump blood around the body, reducing the risks of poor heart health. Increased muscle mass also supports heart and metabolic health by helping the body process blood sugar. 

3. Swimming

Patients are often concerned about the aches and pains that they may experience with walking. Swimming is a great alternative, so you can still get your heart rate up while being gentle on your body. Like walking, swimming offers the same aerobic benefits for your heart, helping to enhance circulation

Senior man cycling

4. Cycling

Cycling, whether outdoors, on a stationary bike, or in a studio spinning class, is a great way to get your heart rate up and break a sweat. It uses the large muscles in your legs, which helps to elevate your heart rate. Cycling can help you achieve the same cardiovascular benefits as both walking and swimming. When you have a variety of aerobic activity options, you can switch up your routine each week. Variety will keep you motivated and allow you to work every muscle in your body. Just remember, if you’re riding your bicycle outdoors, make sure you’re wearing a helmet.

5. Yoga

Yoga is a great way to gain flexibility and mobility and increase your overall strength. Yoga enhances overall health and supports heart health by helping to improve sleep, reduce chronic joint and muscle discomfort, and reduce stress by calming the nervous system. The deep breathing patterns involved in yoga can lower your heart rate to help reduce blood pressure.

In addition to supporting healthy blood pressure levels, yoga can help improve both circulation and lung function. Certain types of yoga can really get your heart rate up, such as Vinyasa, which is considered a cardiovascular and strength-training workout. 

Back-Up Support For Your Heart

In combination with a healthy lifestyle that includes a nutrient-rich diet and regular exercise, supplements with targeted heart health support can help maintain healthy heart function. 

1MD Nutrition’s CholestMD® provides broad-spectrum heart support, helping you to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and proper circulatory function, with the following doctor-recommended ingredients: 

♦ Bergavit®, a patented, clinically studied bergamot extract that supports cardiovascular health and healthy blood lipid levels

Niacin, a clinically studied vitamin that promotes healthy triglyceride levels and vascular function

♦ Olive leaf extract, known to support healthy circulation and arterial health by aiding in blood lipid level equalization

♦ Garlic bulb extract, which supports the maintenance of healthy blood lipid levels to aid arterial blood flow and cardiovascular health

Garlic extract in a small glass bottle with garlic in the background

GlucoseMD® contains a potent blend of 7 clinically studied ingredients to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels for proper metabolic and circulatory health. 

♦ CinSulin® cassia cinnamon extract has been shown in clinical studies to promote proper sugar metabolism.

Berberine Bark extract is clinically shown to help support normal blood sugar levels and enhance sugar uptake from the blood into the muscles.

Chromium picolinate is scientifically proven to enhance and support the activity of pancreatic cells that work to promote the absorption of glucose.

♦ Gymnema Sylvestre has been shown in clinical studies to support healthy fasting blood sugar levels.

Final Thoughts

Your heart is an important muscle, and like other muscles, it needs exercise to strengthen it and promote healthier function. Poor heart function leads to poor circulation, preventing other muscles, tissues, and cells from getting the oxygen and nutrients they need. 

When you exercise regularly, your heart performs more efficiently, and in combination with a nutrient-rich diet and the scientifically-studied ingredients in CholestMD® and GlucoseMD®, you can support healthy heart function and promote your longevity.

Dr. Heather Shenkman

Dr. Heather Shenkman is a board certified interventional cardiologist. She completed a six year program at Albany Medical College, graduating at the age of 23. She completed her residency at Henry Ford Hospital, cardiology fellowship at the University of Rochester, and interventional cardiology fellowship at the esteemed Tufts Medical Center in Boston.