Ideal Set of Exercises to Strengthen Your Heart
Different Activities or Exercise to Manage High Blood Pressure, Transform You & Your Heart Vibrantly Healthy
Whether you think of exercises to strengthen your heart and prevent or lower the risk of future development of Cardiovascular disorders - hypertension and high blood lipid levels - and cascade of others that follow these disorders; remember to be an early adopter.
Be an Early Adopter for Exercises for Heart Health and Longevity:
When I say Early Adopter of activities, you have to consider a time frame of at least 10 years in future. The present system of Cardiology is have plenty of data for a 10 year frame.
After modern researches and data analyzing capabilities, some study and protocols are able to analyze and keep in mind a time frame of 30 years. And gradually for upcoming generations, data of their entire lifespan will be available.
Exercises for Heart Health for Those Already on the Verge of Cardiovascular Disorders:
Of course, it doesn’t negate the NECESSITY of exercises for those who are at higher risk or actually are suffering with high blood pressure and / or high cholesterol levels. Yes, it is a NECESSITY for those.
Recently (2023), I have encouraged a 65 year + men who has had open chest surgery, is having diabetes and hypertension for over 15 years, and also has debilitating neurpathy and lower backache due to spinal problems. Along with Ayurvedic treatment (and already on plenty of medical drugs), he is responding favorably to supervised and stepped exercise. And it is happening over 1 follow up per month ove Zoom.
The Most Overlooked Item on Medical Prescription:
When a person with High Blood Pressure or High Cholesterol Level (Triglycerides or LDL or VLDL Cholesterol) visits GP or Cardiologist, the most common advice is Physical Activity.
If you are 40 + and have experienced the above two problems, you need to understand Physical Activity for sure.
What Physical Activity Doesn’t or Shouldn’t Include?
A Lady is preparing meals for family and has to go out to get grocery and tries to walk inside the apartment or house.
A man or lady is going to work, he or she has to stand in Metro train and they walk during commute. You walk for few minutes in office attending the meeting or going for coffee or eating out with colleagues.
Of course, there is some physical effort involved in all these. Nothing of this sort ever counts as Physical activity or exercise. Period.
Most of the time, you are either stressed or in stressful environment or something else is a top priority in your mind.
Even if you have a step counting app in cellphone, it will hardly be few hundred or few thousand steps in entire day.
Devote a Dedicated Time Every Day for Exercises for Heart Health & Longevity:
I suggest to devote 45 to 60 minutes every day for physical activity. Make it Your Dharma (RELEGION) - one of the Musts of Daily life.
If you are obese, have joints / muscular problems, backache, other chronic disorders, consider taking the advice of physician. The Consultation charge of the any doctor for this advice is one of the highest beneficial investment.
Of course, ensure that your doctor is following the advice himself or herself. I know of dozens of doctor - in India, USA and Europe - who literally don’t move beyond couple of hundred steps in a day. I have myself been such a fellow for several years.
Minimum Criteria of Exercise for Cardiovascular Wellbeing & Longevity:
150 Minutes per Week of Aerobic Exercise….
- Walking / Brisk Walking / Jogging / Running / Swimming / Cycling / Climbing / Jumping / Tennis
- Divide into 3 or 5 days of activity
- 6000 to 9000 steps a day
Benefits of Aerobic Exercise:
- Improves Blood Circulation
- Lowers Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
- Enhances Aerobic Fitness as tested by Treadmill Test
- Strengthens Cardiac Muscles & Improves Cardiac Output (pumping power of heart)
- Helps to optimize Blood Sugar Metabolism / Diabetes / Insulin Resistance
60 Minutes of Strength Training / Resistance Training
- Working out with free weights (such as hand weights, dumbbells or barbells), on weight machines, with resistance bands
- Or through body-resistance exercises, such as push-ups, squats and chin-ups.
- Two sessions of 30 minutes each, should not be consecutive days
This is the part that been overlooked by me. I am planning to implement it myself within the weekly schedule.
Benefits of Strength Training:
- Fat burning, Optimizing Body Fat
- Leaner Muscle mass
- With Aerobics - Lowers LDL and increases HDL
Stretching, Flexibility and Balance: 60 Minutes / Week:
- Stretches / Yoga Postures
- 5 minutes before and after other exercises
- Musculoskeletal Health
- Prevents from Injury
- Warming Up
- Freedom from soreness, pain
- Enhances Flexibility and Balance
- Improves of the efficiency and consistency of rest of the two - aerobics and strength training
Two of My Inspirations for Physical Activity:
One fellow is Dr. Manish Tomar (55+ in 2023), who is a senior Surgeon, good friend and mentor and is involved in regular activity right from medical college days.
Another person is my friend and Chartered Accountant - Mr. Sudesh Tomar (48+ in 2023). His story is amazing. 7-8 years back, he was involved in mild physical activity and had minor issues related with sendentary life.
Fast forward now, He is a world class athelete in his age group - had done several marathons globally and also over 100 km.
Another friend is a Senior Cardiologist (50+) who follows and advises the below mentioned program since the time of medical graduation.
Over past 3 years, I have shifted the annual plan or aspiration for exercise several times. Right now, it is one of the balanced and synergistic way, focused upon health and longevity.
Certain Important Considerations about Exercises for Heart Health and Longevity:
- Human body is meant for activity or active lifestyle. God or Nature gave muscles and bones and joints in plenty.
- Start with a long term vision. Your vision should be flexible enough, inspiring and motivating.
- Have plan for 3 months. It should be one that you should ENJOY and be little bit uncomfortable with.
- The benefit of physical activity could not be COMPREHENDED simply by preventive aspect of cardiovascular risk.
- Your stress level will go down, your energy will be better, your sleep will be better, productivity will improve, your self awareness will depen...and more and more.
- Start slow. Keep in mind your age, strength, flexibility, general health and also any specific disorder that you might have. Take advice if required.
- You don’t require gym membership to adopt these. All you need to invest is some time and persistence of effort. After few months, you will look forward to it.
Take Home Advice - Weekly Routine:
- Aerobics: 50 minutes daily for 3 days / 30 Minutes daily for 5 days a week / 75 minutes daily for 2 days a week
- Strength Training: 30 minutes daily for 2 days a week, non-consecutive days
- Stretching, Flexibility & Balance: 10 minutes stretching - 5 minutes before and after exercise, 2 sessions of Yoga postures twice a week.
Apart from physical exercise, Yoga breathwork exercise, known as Pranayama, is a great practice for cardiovascular wellbeing and mind health.
I have a dedicated training program ‘Yoga Breathwork Implemntation Program’ that will be in 3rd version or cohort where you learn to implement Yoga Breathwork for chronic disorders.
Fortunately, I am a practitioner since 1990 and taught it in person and online to patients challenged with diverse health issues. I don’t keep it inside physical activity or exercise. It is a blend of physical, energy, mind health and spiritual discipline, all combined together.