Four Key Exercises for Cardiovascular Health
One of the most important aspects of general fitness is cardiovascular fitness—this type of fitness refers to how effectively your heart provides oxygen-enriched blood to your body’s tissues during exercise. However, because the benefits of cardiovascular fitness are present whether you are at work or at rest, achieving an optimum level of cardiovascular fitness can potentially add years to your life.
Best of all, cardiovascular conditioning offers some of the greatest variety when it comes to exercise selection—in fact, any exercise that raises your heart rate and respiration can make some difference. On the other hand, certain exercises can definitely deliver results that are better, faster, or even both.
Below are four exercises that provide some of the best possible results for cardiovascular fitness, along with a brief explanation of specific benefits.
Rowing- Rowers are typically among the most overlooked machines in the gym, and this exercise is often underrated. The total-body workout this movement delivers, however, is easy to perform and is suitable for all fitness levels. At the same time, this exercise delivers surprising intensity, which translates to faster fat-burning, greater calorie burn and better cardiovascular fitness.
Swimming- Swimming is another great choice because, just like with rowing, it’s a full body exercise. The rule of thumb here is that the more of your body you can involve in a given movement, the better that movement is for cardiovascular conditioning. Swimming delivers mild resistance to all of the body’s muscles simultaneously, all while keeping your joints fully supported.
Jumping Rope- For those looking to get in shape without a gym membership, this exercise is about as minimalist as it gets in terms of equipment. Although technique may be a challenge to newcomers for the first few sessions, the portability and convenience of a jump rope are well worth the initial effort. A jump rope can be taken anywhere, used anytime, and provides the same total-body cardiovascular workout as the exercises above.
Kettlebell Swings- The reputation this exercise has developed in recent years is well-deserved. By providing a dynamic, low-impact movement that utilizes all major muscle groups, this is one of the best fat-burning exercises available, but it also packs a cardiovascular-conditioning punch and develops a level of fitness rivaling any other exercise. Also, just like jumping rope, the one-time purchase of a kettlebell instantly translates to an anytime workout.
Becoming healthy and fit is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your heart, and once some of these exercises are incorporated into your weekly routine, improvement is likely to occur quickly. Your heart and cardiovascular system are made of muscle tissue, and like any other muscle they are designed to adapt to and overcome new challenges. With the exercises above, you can keep both at their best, radically reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, and add not only more years to your life, but more life to your years.
Article by: Sean Wells