5 heart-healthy exercises to keep your ticker going strong


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Let’s face it, February can be a heartbreaker. While the month of St. Valentine’s can be a sinister aide-mémoire for some, it’s also a tribute to another kind of cardiac commemoration: American Heart Month.

Though we generally make the most of this heart-conscious month with assorted chocolate edibles, indulging in matters of the heart can be just as healthy as it is blissful.

Exercises for a healthy heart
In order to reap heart-healthy benefits, it’s essential to get your heart rate up. Aerobic exercise, which does just this in addition to improving cardiovascular strength, has the most benefits for your heart.

Here are 5 easy aerobic exercises that will get your blood circulating:

Jumping rope
It can boost your heart rate two to three times faster than other exercises and help tone and shape muscles by working the legs, triceps, shoulders and core. Check out this list of jump rope workouts for more information on how to skip your way to a healthier heart.

Cycling can help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease as well as help you lose weight whether it’s stationary or outdoors

Ice skating
According to the United States Figure Skating Association, ice skating can burn as many calories an hour as running — 250 to 810 calories — which makes it an excellent weight loss workout too.

Doing these activities regularly can help you develop a stronger heart and improve your lung capacity. Studies even show that for every hour of walking, you may increase your life expectancy by two hours. Take a look at how walking/jogging can benefit you.

Climbing the stairs
Skip the elevator and escalator. This is something that can be done for training or throughout the day. Find out how stair climbing strengthens your heart.

Engaging in just one of these aerobic activities for just 30 minutes each day will increase your heart rate and help you gain long-term benefits such as increased endurance, better breathing and an improvement in the body’s ability to use oxygen.