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Heart Healthy Exercises To Do Everyday

We all know that exercise can do wonders for our bodies. Exercise can help control our weight, combat diseases, improve our moods and boost our energy levels. One great way to consider exercise that is often overlooked is in terms of how much an exercise increases your heart rate.

In fact, heart-rate focused exercise is actually much simpler than most other types of training and conditioning as you don’t have to worry about weights or variations. Instead, you just need to focus on increasing your heart rate by whatever means necessary. Even walking uphill can be a tremendously effective exercise for benefitting your heart. Thus, the more you challenge your heart and expand your lungs, the stronger your heart will be!

So, how do you set up our own heart-healthy training program? Thankfully, there are plenty of different exercises you can do to strengthen our heart. Take your pick of a few and rotate through them on a weekly basis:

1. Running

It doesn’t matter whether you prefer the outdoors, treadmill, woods or the sidewalk. The act of running can benefit your health in many ways, including preventing high blood pressure, keeping your arteries clear of plaque and lowering your risk of coronary artery disease.

Just get a good pair of shoes, pick your spot (a favorite route if outside) and aim for something between a jog and a light sprint.

2. Swimming

If you want to add a hefty calorie burning component to your cardio program, swimming is a great bet. Ever notice how you’re incredibly hungry after you spend an hour or so swimming? It’s because swimming burns a ton of calories. If you keep a good pace by swimming laps, you’ll be strengthening your heart as well. Unlike other aerobic exercises, swimming is a low-impact exercise that is particularly beneficial for those with older joints. Swimming is also ideal for working stiff muscles and sore joints.

3. Cycling

Whether you choose stationary cycling indoors or cycling outside, it’s a great low-impact, heart-healthy option that’s easy on the knees. The benefits of cycling are many. You’ll not only strengthen your heart, but you’ll also be able to increase your stamina, build muscle tone and reduce your stress as you burn calories.

4. Walking

Walking, another low-impact choice, also helps to improve the overall strength of your heart. This is especially true if you’re hiking or walking uphill. While it doesn’t burn as many calories, walking is perfect for many. Walking still offers many great benefits for your overall health. These benefits include maintaining a healthy weight, preventing high blood pressure, lifting your mood and improving your balance and coordination.

5. Interval/circuit training

Many of us with full-time careers and families may not always have enough free time to work in a few hours of exercise each week. Fortunately, for those looking for a quick way to boost our cardio, interval/circuit training may be a great option.

Instead of running in place at the same speed for 20 minutes, interval training can have you in an all-out sprint for 30 seconds, followed by two minutes of a more even-paced speed of the exercise. The pattern is repeated throughout the workout. This is probably one of the most effective ways to burn fat and get in shape in a shorter amount of time.

Choosing What’s Right for You

Today, we are more aware than ever of how exercise can affect our overall health, and everyone has their own fit when it comes to exercise. For some, that might be a high-intensity circuit; for others, it might be a three-mile trail walk. Although your goal will be to push yourself to improving your health, be careful as to not overdo it. Always speak with your physician beforehand and listen to what they suggest you should do for exercise.

Virginia Cunningham is a freelance health writer who writes for NorthWest to help others improve their personal fitness and nutrition. She regularly practices yoga and reserves a few days out of the week for more intense cardio exercises to keep her heart healthy.