6 Ways To Improve Your Cardiovascular Health

Everybody, no matter what their current level of fitness may be, can improve their cardiovascular health. Whether you are overweight and out of shape, or an “exercise junkie” who hits the gym daily and enters bodybuilding contests, it is always possible to find ways to improve your cardiovascular health with gradual, incremental, worthwhile changes.

Improvements in cardio health, from whatever your starting point, will always lead to massive improvements in your quality of life. With better cardio you will be healthier, more energetic, happier and more emotionally stable, and your quality of sleep will improve. If you are at the high end of the fitness and mobility spectrum, improved cardio may mean the difference between a silver and a gold medal. If you are currently at the lower end of the spectrum, improved cardiovascular health might eventually mean you can retire your Zimmer frame or afford to use your disabled driving permit a little less.

No matter what your current level of health and fitness may be, making improvements in your cardio capability is guaranteed to bring huge benefits to your life. Here are six ways to improve your cardiovascular health.

Quit Smoking

This one seems (and is) so very obvious. But unfortunately there are still a great many people who succumb to puffing on “cancer sticks” on a regular basis. Nicotine is highly addictive, as anybody who has ever had a smoking habit can attest. Whether you smoke a whole pack a day, or only “the odd one or two” after meals or when relaxing with friends or a drink, every cigarette is making painful disease more likely, and ravaging your cardiovascular health. Smoking is heinous for your health and it destroys your quality of life. If you smoke, even “one or two,” quitting is one of the most beneficial ways to improve your cardiovascular health. It’s difficult, but you CAN do it!

Divan Medical - woman doing yoga

Yoga is a low-impact form of exercise that has a huge range of health benefits, including cardiovascular ones.

Take Up Yoga

Hitting the yoga mat is brilliant for stamina and flexibility, and is another of the most effective ways to improve your cardiovascular health. Holding a yoga pose – whether it’s something simple and basic that a beginner can do, or some bizarre contortion that only the bendiest of human beings can even begin to manage – builds strength and endurance. There is a big focus on deliberate, controlled, deep nose breathing in yoga, and this mixture of physical work and concentrated breathing is wonderful for cardiovascular health. Yoga is suitable for the very fit or the very unfit, and can bring a world of difference to your overall health.


The beauty of running is that you can do it at any level of intensity and it will always be of benefit to you. Running is excellent cardiovascular training. Whether you take a slow, relaxing jog or embark on an epic marathon peppered with hill sprints, running at a level that feels appropriate and healthy for you will always be one of the best ways to improve your cardiovascular health. So don your running shoes and hop to it!

Go Walkies

A simple walk – whether a brisk march or a slow stroll – will work wonders for your cardiovascular health. Putting one foot in front of the other again and again and again for an extended period of time is one of the best things you can do for your heart, lungs, and entire cardio system. Get walking, folks!

Divan Medical - man cycling

Cycling, whether outdoors or at the gym, is one of the most effective ways to improve your cardiovascular health.

Pedal Cycling

Whether on a regular bicycle outdoors, or on a stationary bike in your home or local health club, cycling is one of the most epically effective ways to improve your cardiovascular health. Cycling at a decent clip puts just the right amount of strain on your heart and lungs, helping them to grow stronger and more functional. The beauty of cycling is that it is very low-impact, meaning your joints are put under little or no strain when you do it, so it is well-suited as a form of cardiovascular exercise to people of any age and fitness level. Even if you are relatively immobile, you can still drive to the gym or park and get some great cardio done on a stationary bike or hired bike.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat (or Rowing Machine)

Rowing is another low-impact exercise that is excellent for the cardiovascular system. Like cycling, rowing is very easy on the joints and so can be done by people of any age or fitness level. Even if you have no access to a lake or pond, you can always take a trip to your local gym and spend some time on their rowing machine – you won’t be accompanied by the delightful sound of oars on water, but you will be accompanied by the delightful sound of yourself panting… Which is always a sure sign that you are improving your cardiovascular system!

6 Top Tips to Help You Succeed in Your New Year’s Weight Loss Goals

During the festive season, mince pies are everywhere and the mulled wine is flowing. Everybody loves to indulge over Christmas time, and why not? This is the time of year where we get to eat endless amounts of delicious treats and then relax on the sofa with a few buttons undone without feeling guilty. Once this period is over, people tend to all have the same goal, which is to lose weight. This is not surprising. Many problems come with being overweight, to the point it can be difficult to travel to medical care. In this case, telemedicine can come to the rescue. Telemedicine, where you can access a doctor for advice online through your laptop or phone, is taking off in the U.S. Of course, prevention is better than cure, so the other option is to try to lose weight yourself first. While some are successful, others struggle to fulfil their resolution and revert to old habits. Here, we will list some useful ways to help you get on track and see your weight loss goals to the end.

Preparation is key

As the saying goes, if you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail! Stay organized and create a workout plan for yourself so you know what kind of exercises to do and when, or even better, invest in the help of a personal trainer if your wallet allows it. They can give professional advice and help you create a plan while also providing that motivation most of us need.

Divan Medical - healthy food

Diet as well as exercise is important in achieving your weight loss goals.

You are what you eat

Most of us know that nutrition goes hand-in-hand with exercising when it comes to weight loss. You could be sweating it out at the gym for hours a day, but if you’re reaching for the takeaway menu after each session, then it will most likely hinder your ability to shed weight. Moral of the story: you can’t outrun a bad diet. A good idea if you have the time is to do meal preparations. Not only will this save you time and money, it will help you stay on track with your new diet because if you know you already have food ready to eat, you’ll be less tempted to order that pizza.

Stay hydrated

Water not only keeps us alive and hydrated, it’s also great for our metabolism and can help curb cravings. You may have heard before that a lot of the time when we feel hungry, we are in actual fact just thirsty. Furthermore, if you’re working out a lot, it’s important to replenish the fluids lost. Being dehydrated can also affect your exercise performance, so it’s ideal to keep a water bottle at hand before, during, and after your workouts.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

It’s normal to relapse and go back to old ways. This is extremely common, so try not to be so hard on yourself! You may have one bad day where you’ve perhaps missed a gym session or eaten a hamburger instead of a salad. The important thing is to allow yourself a cheat meal at least once a week and have a rest day from working out. Not only will this ensure you stay on track, but having a break from exercising will allow your body and muscles to recover, therefore making your next session more effective. It’s all about balance and moderation.

Divan Medical - measuring stomach

Don’t beat yourself up if you have a weight loss setback – just keep going with your plan!

Spread the word

If you are living with other people, whether it be your family or friends, it could be a good idea to tell them about your goals. This way, you can gain some support and consideration when it comes to meal times and keeping snacks in the house. Who knows, you may also inspire others to join you in leading a healthier lifestyle. If you live with others who are not as health-minded, there’s always the option of using social media and joining support groups with likeminded people who are on the same path.

Drink less or no alcohol

It’s all good and plentiful during the festive period or even just on the weekends, but alcohol is actually foe, not friend, when it comes to weight loss. Alcohol slows down the fat-burning process because, once consumed, it is the first fuel to be burned, and fat has to wait and take a backseat. Not only this, alcohol contains empty calories, meaning there are not many nutritional benefits at all. All this being said, remember that everything in moderation is okay, and having that one glass of wine at the end of the week as part of a cheat meal shouldn’t send all your progress downhill. However, many diet gurus recommend refraining from alcohol altogether when it comes to losing weight, so it is perhaps best to wait until you have reached your goal.

Achieving weight loss goals is no easy task. You may hit plateaus, the struggle will be real, and it may seem like you are making no progress at all. Remember to give yourself credit and record your progress in a diary so you can see how far you’ve come. Having a positive and determined mindset, staying organized, and seeking that extra support where you can will ensure that you will finally reach your News Year’s weight loss goals.

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