Physical activity, or anything that makes you move your body and burn calories, includes playing sports , swimming, biking, jogging, walking, doing stretching exercises or weight lifting. Since the heart is a muscle, it needs physical activity to keep it in good condition. Any type and amount of physical activity can significantly lower the risk of chronic conditions, as well as improve endurance, flexibility and strength. However, below are the top 6 exercises that will benefit your heart best.

  1. Walking. To start walking is the simplest way to effectively improve your heart health. It is enjoyable, easy and free, and nearly everyone can do it. Walking, especially at brisk pace, makes the heart and lungs work harder to supply the body with more oxygen. This makes the heart and circulation more efficient, and helps to build up stamina. This activity is very practical and has high success rates because it is easy to stick to and all you need is a pair of comfortable walking shoes. Though strolling at a leisurely pace is better than sitting on a coach, push yourself to walk at a brisk pace to catch up with a moderate intensity level.
  2. Jogging. Although more challenging than walking, jogging is the best way to burn calories and lose weight to reduce the risk of heart disease. If you are a beginner, start with brisk walking and add 1-2 minutes of jogging every 5 minutes of walking . Gradually increase the minutes you jog as getting more fit, until you can do without walking in between.
  3. Swimming. It is a safe alternative to people who can’t walk or run due to joint or other health problems. Water provides multidirectional resistance that improves muscular tone and strength. It also raises the rate of the heart and improves its health. If you are extremely unfit, start with leisure swimming, gradually progressing to lane swimming from 8 to 12 lengths of the pool per swimming technique, varying techniques on different days.
  4. Circuit training. Combining short bursts of high-intensity exercises with little longer periods of active recovery is the best type to increase cardiovascular fitness. If you are a walker, alternate 3 minutes at preferred speed of walking with 1 minute at fast pace. If you exercise at a gym, opt for minimal rest periods and alternating between upper and lower body exercises. Continuously raising and lowering your heart rate you’ll improve vascular function, burn more calories and help the body more efficiently clear fats and sugar from the blood.
  5. Weight training. This is a form of circuit training, which increases the heart rate during reps and allows it to recover between sets. The challenge is to increase difficulty and incorporate proper progression. Thus, when you can easily do 20 push-ups, slow down and count to 4 as you raise yourself up and then again as you lower.
  6. Yoga . Though it may seem not great for strength and muscle toning, it offers cardiovascular benefits. By providing calm it lowers blood pressure and makes blood vessels more elastic.
Author's Bio: 

Richard is an avid blogger passionate about healthy living. He likes to write about health problems and the ways of their treatment. Currently, he contributes to CardioGod.com – an informative website about cardiovascular health .