Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living!
All of us at some stage in life have experienced the feeling of being famished without reason. The panting and palpitation are common things amongst all urbanites! Basic movements like walking also seem like a lot of activity just because we're not used to it anymore. We laze on our cosy couches, and get things done at the click of a button. The ease and comfort makes us so lazy that moving our joints becomes a tedious task. But just like your car has an engine that needs to be maintained to perform well, your body also has a natural engine called the heart! This fist-sized organ performs an unimaginable job even in the most edgy situations to just keep you alive and going. From pumping blood every second to your organs to filtering the bad blood in your body, it does it all. And we take for granted. Give it some exercise and make its muscles stronger to help it perform its work without stress!
Try out any of the cardio exercises below for a stronger and healthier heart:
Brisk walk: Just 30 minutes in a day is good enough to help strengthen your heart.
Jogging/Running: The higher the intensity, the better for your heart! The trick is to start slow and steadily increase your speed. This helps condition your heart.
Interval training: You can do this by running for a minute, walking for 3 minutes, and repeating it for 30 minutes. You can also increase or change the time limit as per your capacity.
Aerobics/Dance/Zumba: These are fun ways to work out your heart muscles. They also motivate you to work out as you are in a group and go along with the groups pace.
Swimming: A simple low-impact exercise that gives your heart a good pump and also refreshes you after a hectic work day.
Cycling: A fun way to exercise, especially if you are part of a cycling gang or like to roll on empty roads early morning with friends. Just hire a bike and get going.
Skipping: A convenient form of exercise that can be done any time and anywhere, even in the premises of your house, compound, or office. You can carry a skipping rope with you wherever you go.
Functional training: This includes boot camp kind of activities like jump squats, walking lunges, mountain climbers, burpees, etc. which not only condition your heart but also tone the muscles of your body.
Suryanamaskar: You can do these as per your capacity and give your body a good cardio workout. Make sure to get your form right to do it under the guidance of a trainer.
Stair climbing: If nothing else works, just take a flight of stairs up and down for 30 minutes at your pace, which can turn out to be a great heart working exercise.
So what are you waiting for? Start training your heart for a healthier future!