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.
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!
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!
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!
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!