By Mr Vikas Jain
MD, Anytime Fitness
“Exercise to be regarded as a tribute to the heart”- Gene Tunney
As quoted by Gene Tunney, an international boxer from the United States of America regular physical exercise is the key to live heart healthy. Our heart is quoted as the most important in many love songs, stories, novels and movies- where there is a heart break, the heart aches and whenever we fall in love our heart starts humming love songs. To be or not to be in love, our heart plays the most important role in keeping us healthy. The heart is the pump at the center of the body’s circulation system. This system ensures that fresh blood, containing oxygen and nutrients, is delivered throughout the whole body, and carbon dioxide and waste products are taken away.
Heart being the most important in our body, needs some serious attention from us too. We, Indian lead the world in rates of cardiovascular disease. This is our sedentary lifestyle that has become the reason of the growing number of heart patients in our country. Initially, we had read in many articles that age is one of the factors of cardiovascular disease but in our country we have successfully scraped that notion away. Young people in their early 30’s have also become victims of heart problems. From eating unhealthy food- deep fried, soaked in oil, spicy to sitting in a position in front of a system from 8am in the morning to 7-8pm at night and no physical workout have helped us secure the first position in world’s list of unhealthy countries.
As we are evolving and growing with time, there are many fitness centers that have come up with interesting exercises in India along with flexible timing. All we need to do is take out some time from our busy and monotonous lifestyle and do some exercise to live a heart healthy life. When considering the benefits of exercising, losing weight and “getting ripped” might be the first things to come to mind. But there’s a benefit that is way more crucial: keeping a healthy heart.
Let’s take a look at 5 workouts to keep the heart healthy-
- Burpees- Burpees are an awesome, calorie-torching, strength-building, full body exercise. Burpee helps a person to burn extra fat and conditions the body helping it increase metabolism thus minimize the risk of cardiovascular disease. The classic burpee is a four-point move. From a standing position, drop into a squat with your hands on the ground just in front of your feet. Then kick your feet back behind you, keeping your arms extended so you are in a raised plank position. Immediately return your feet into squat position. Stand up from the squat position.
Precautions of Burpees:
- Anyone can do this exercise. But, you need to be physically fit. Doing this workout requires one to have extensive fitness.
- This is not a very simple workout. It is quite tough, when compared to any other conventional exercise.
- Though no workout equipment is required to practice this exercise, it is difficult to perform.
- It is recommended to get a medical consultation from your physician with appropriate supervision to avoid any further injury.
- Jump Squats- Squat jumps are an example of a plyometric exercise, movements that build power. Jump squats develop explosive power. Explosive power is the ability to generate force quickly. If you play almost any sport you need explosive power – but that’s not the only reason to them. Jump squats have a variety of health benefits. For a start, they help build and tone the calves, glutes, hamstrings, core, and quadriceps. Jump squats build muscles that are crucial to glucose regulation, insulin sensitivity, and lipid metabolism. Jump squats help prevent heart diseases, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes.
Precautions of Jump Squats:
- Warm up! The squats engage big muscles and large joints that should be ready for the load;
- Do not land with feet straight but bend your knees;
- While jumping, you should keep your back and body straight.
- Jumping Jacks- Jumping jack is an aerobic cardio exercise, meaning, you use oxygen to meet the energy demands and stimulate the heart muscles. The heart has to work extra hard to pump enough oxygenated blood and also bring back the carbon dioxide loaded blood from the cells. This, in turn, helps exercise the heart muscles and other organs like the lungs. Hence, this steady and slow exercise keeps your heart healthy by providing a good workout to it.
Precautions of Jumping jacks:
- Warm up and cool down. A brisk walk around the block may be a good start.
- Do your jumping jacks on a flat, even surface. Grass, rubber, and other surfaces that absorb shock are preferred over cement or asphalt.
- Wear supportive shoes. Choose athletic sneakers instead of sandals, heeled shoes, or boots.
- Learn proper form. Consider having a trainer show you proper form to ensure you’re doing the moves correctly.
- The faster, the better. Consider favoring speed of repetitions over the total length of the workout (endurance) to avoid overuse injuries.
- Pay attention to your body. If you feel pain, take a break or stop your session completely.
Aerobics- Aerobic exercise is any activity that gets your blood pumping and large muscle groups working. It’s also known as cardiovascular activity. It is recommend getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. Brisk walking or swimming are examples of moderate activity. Running or cycling are examples of vigorous activity. Aerobic exercise is recommended by the American Heart Association and by most doctors to people with, or at risk for, heart disease. That’s because exercise strengthens your heart and helps it more efficiently pump blood throughout the body. Cardiovascular exercise can also help lower blood pressure, and keep your arteries clear by raising “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and lowering “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in the blood.
- Precautions of Aerobics:
- Exercise lowers blood sugar. If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar levels before and after exercise. Eating a healthy snack before you start sweating will also help prevent your levels from dipping too low.
- Spend extra time warming up before beginning your activity if you have muscle and joint pain, such as with arthritis. Consider taking a warm shower before lacing up or heading to the gym. Shoes with good cushioning and motion control can also help.
- If you have asthma, look for exercises with shorter bursts of activity, like tennis or baseball. That way you can take breaks to rest your lungs. And don’t forget to use an inhaler when necessary.
- If you’re new to exercise, ease into activity. Start over several weeks by doing 10 to 20 minutes every other day. This will help with fatigue and muscle soreness.
- Walking – Number one on the top 10 for aerobic exercise is walking. Walking is enjoyable, safe, inexpensive, and easy to fit into almost anyone’s busy day. You can get in walking time by walking to work, walking to the grocery store, and walking around your neighborhood. Aerobic exercises are those that use large muscles in a continuous, rhythmical manner over time.
This World Heart Day let’s take a pledge on living a healthy life with a healthy heart. It doesn’t need much from a person to live with a healthy heart- just a disciplined food and lifestyle with a pinch of exercise and you stay healthy forever.