by Sarah Buron at Bradshaw and Bryant

One of the best things you can do for your health is to strengthen your heart, which is a muscle. A stronger heart can lead to lower blood pressure, improved oxygen flow, lower risk of heart attack, lower heart rate, endorphin release and maintaining a healthy weight. The leading cause of death for adults in America is heart disease. Here are five exercises that can help your heart:


Walking is a very underrated form of exercise. Incorporate a short walk into your lunch hour, park a little further away from your intended destination or schedule a longer walk with a friend on the weekend. Walking gets your heart rate up and is easier on your joints. It is also free and convenient, not to mention great for your physical and mental health.


If you have a base level of fitness, running is another excellent aerobic option. It can lower your risk of heart disease and burn more calories in a shorter time. Running 30 minutes a few times per week can help reduce “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and increase “good” cholesterol (HDL). It can also strengthen your heart’s walls, increasing its overall efficiency.


Water aerobics and swimming laps are wonderful workouts that strengthen your body and heart. Swimming can help improve your circulation, which means your blood can better reach areas of your body where it is needed to deliver oxygen.

Strength training

When combined with aerobic exercise, strength training is a great way to improve your heart health while burning fat and building muscle mass. Strength training can improve your metabolism and increase the muscles’ ability to use oxygen, so the heart does not have to work as hard to supply more blood and oxygen to the muscles. Strength training can involve weights, resistance bands or even your body weight (like yoga). Doing yoga can help strengthen and tone your muscles and increase your heart rate.

Interval training

Alternating between short bursts of high-intensity exercise with longer periods of active recovery is a great way to get an effective workout in a short period of time. For example, you could switch between walking for two minutes and running for one minute. Raising and lowering your heart rate helps improve the function of your blood vessels.


Cycling can also improve your cardiovascular health. It has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and boost the effectiveness of your immune system. Cycling regularly causes the capacity of your muscles to increase, which in turn makes everyday activities easier to do.

Variety is the spice of life. It is essential to change things up and figure out what you enjoy doing most and will stay consistent with. Your heart will get stronger and healthier as you lead a more active lifestyle.