One of the best changes you can make to improve your cardiovascular health is exercising regularly. Exercise not only improves heart health, but your overall health and wellness as well. Even minor changes such as walking more can make a significant difference. Studies have shown that exercise can decrease high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and reduce the the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases.

Despite the health benefits of exercise, over 60% of Americans do not get the recommended amount of daily activity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise for 5 days a week or more.

Conditions Exercise Can Help

Getting the recommended amount of exercise will help reduce your risk of many cardiovascular conditions, such as:

  • Angina pectoris
  • Aortoiliac occlusive disease
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Diabetic vascular disease
  • Heart attack
  • Hypertension
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Stroke

Before starting an exercise regimen, it is a good idea to speak with a physician, particularly if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • Adults with heart disease, obesity, or diabetes
  • Adults at risk for chronic diseases
  • Adults who have been inactive for an extended period of time
  • Adults who are obese

Best Exercises For Cardiovascular Health

There are various exercises that you can do to help improve your cardiovascular health. Start slowly, and increase the frequency, duration, and intensity of your exercise over time.

Aerobic exercise:

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Bicycling
  • Elliptical trainers
  • Rowing
  • Swimming
  • Tennis

Strength exercise:

  • Bicep curls
  • Tricep extensions
  • Arm raises
  • Pushups
  • Pullups

Flexibility and balance exercise:

  • Hamstring stretches
  • Quadricep stretches
  • Calf stretches
  • Yoga

Lifestyle exercise:

  • Housework
  • Yard work
  • Walking for errands

A combination of aerobic, strength, flexibility, and lifestyle exercise is ideal. At Virginia Heart & Vascular Institute in Fairfax VA, we commonly recommend exercise for patients. If you have been referred by your primary physician or want to schedule an appointment, call us today at 703-560-1075.