#ThursdayThought: American Heart Month

Just as exercise strengthens other muscles in your body, it also helps your heart to become more efficient and better able to pump blood throughout your body. Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise is any form of activity that increases your respiratory and heart rate, essentially challenging your heart to work harder and become stronger. Exercising, in general, is the best option if you want to lower your risk of heart disease, improve cholesterol and lower blood pressure.

Exercises for a healthy heart:

Interval training helps to prevent heart diseases and diabetes. By raising and lowering your heart rate, interval training can help improve vascular function. Some examples of interval training are: HIIT routines, cardio sprints, lunge springs, and plyometrics.

Yoga lowers blood pressure which makes blood vessels more elastic and promotes heart health. Yoga focuses on breathing and calms the entire nervous system, reducing stress and anxiety.

Weight training increases your heart rate during reps and recovers between sets. By efficiently handling the demands placed upon them, strong muscles ease the overall burden on the heart.

Cardio is moderate exercise, such as light bicycling or brisk walking, that helps get your heart pumping between 50 and 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. Brisk walking, running, and other cardio activities are also aerobic exercises, which means they increase the body's demand for oxygen, which can help regulate breathing and heart rate.