Valentine’s Day has us feeling rather romantic here at The Thames Club and we have love hearts on the mind. Whilst the 14th of February is usually a day for couples, there’s another relationship we want to concentrate on in today’s blog post – that is, the relationship between exercise and a healthy heart.
Your heart is responsible for pumping blood around your body. It delivers oxygen and nutrients to other organs in the body, making it essential to life. Certain conditions can affect the heart’s ability to do its job, a lot of which are lifestyle related. Problems caused by this include high blood pressure, a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and stroke.
The Importance of Exercise For the Heart
Inactivity is detrimental to the heart because it isn’t designed to take things easy. Raising your heartbeat through exercise trains your heart by forcing it to pump your blood faster. This happens because your body requires more oxygen to satisfy the demands of movement.
Think of it this way, your heart is a muscle so increasing your heartbeat trains it in the same way that weights train your arms and legs. The only difference is that exercise doesn’t make your heart bigger, instead it makes it more efficient at its job.
The type of exercise that encourages this heart workout is cardiovascular exercise, or ‘cardio’ as most people call it. This is anything that gets your body moving. Running, cycling, dancing, and swimming are all good examples. You should aim for 75 minutes per week of intense cardio, or 150 minutes of moderate. It doesn’t matter which you choose.
Some gym goers, especially bodybuilders, avoid cardio sessions when they’re trying to increase muscle mass because they want to reserve energy for muscle growth. This is detrimental to their health. Incorporating cardio exercises into your training sessions is essential to building and maintaining a healthy heart.
Keep your Motivation up
The problem with cardio is that it can become repetitive. Swimming laps of the pool or running for half an hour at a time can quickly bore a person, leading them to feeling like the session is a real chore.
The Thames Club has tackled this issue by offering a range of invigorating classes. Some examples include Body Pump, Virtual Ride, and Clubbercise. As well as being lively and fun, these classes will help you to clock up your weekly cardio minutes without you even noticing. This is important because cardio exercise for your heart’s health isn’t a fad or a phase, it’s essential that you keep on top of it is you want to enjoy a life that isn’t plagued by medical problems.
The bottom line is that you should maintain a good relationship with your heart and take care it – because it takes care of you!