We’ve long known that regular exercise is essential in maintaining a healthy heart. But how much is “enough” exercise? And which exercises are most effective for cardiovascular health? A new study published in the Journal of Physiology reports that all you need is 30 minutes of exercise, two or three times per week, to keep your arteries unclogged. Their research maintains that just half an hour of moderately intense exercise can replenish and unclog the middle-sized arteries, which are the ones that supply oxygen to the head and neck.
So which exercises should you opt for? Really, any exercise that raises your heart rate will help promote cardiovascular health. Here are five you can do on a daily basis.
As the saying goes, “Movement is improvement.” Any kind of physical activity can promote arterial health, even just 30 minutes of brisk walking. You can intensify your walk by holding weights or lengthening the strides of your steps.
Go for a jog
Want to amp it up? Jogging is a very effective cardiovascular sport and one you can do pretty much anywhere. But start slow; if you’re just starting to exercise, begin by walking, and then adding one or two minute-intervals of jogging into your regimen. Eventually, your endurance will improve, and you’ll work your way up to a full 30 minutes of jogging.
Take a hike
Hiking can be a fantastic way of incorporating physical activity into your daily life, without even realizing you’re exercising. Plus, it comes with a slew of other health benefits: it relieves stress, builds strength in your lower body, and improves balance. Hit the trails, clear your head, and maintain arterial health at the same time.
Dance like you mean it
Don’t think dancing is a sport? Just an hour of Zumba burns an average of 369 calories. According to WebMD, it provides more cardio than kickboxing or step aerobics. You’ll be sweating and unclogging your arteries before you even realize you’re working out.
If you have knee or ankle issues, swimming could be your ideal workout. It helps you elevate your heart rate, improving heart and lung capacity, without adding much strain to your joints. Swimming has also been found to relieve pain for people with arthritis and other musculoskeletal problems, like back pain. 30 minutes of swimming can burn a ton of calories, relieve muscular pain and simultaneously promote cardiovascular health.