Health

How to Boost Your Heart With 5 Simple Workouts

BY Wu Kuo-Pin TIMESeptember 22, 2022 PRINT

It is no secret that working out is good for our health. Exercising not only optimizes body functioning and delays aging and degeneration but also improves our quality of life and illnesses.

However, this is not to say that as long as you exercise, you can improve your disease. If someone has heart disease and is often short of breath, should they exercise? To what extent or how should they work out? How to exercise? What time do you exercise? What should you pay attention to?

Benefits of Exercise

Besides regular exercise routines, muscle training increases our strength and the ability to use oxygen. When our heart rate rises, it boosts blood circulation and removes inflammatory substances in our blood vessels. This detoxification lowers blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

Healthy Heart Exercises

1. Frequency

People with better physical conditions can do moderate to intermediate exercises three to five times a week. Those with health conditions, should start with lighter exercise but increase the frequency to five to seven days each week. As for the elderly, cardiorespiratory training depends on the frequency, intensity, types of workouts, and duration of each session.

2. Intensity

Exercise intensity is measured on a scale of 1 to 10 of the Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE), 5 to 6 is moderate intensity, while 7-8 is high intensity. The starting point for moderate exercise is 5, but the intensity should not exceed 9.

For senior people with poor physical fitness or diseases, it is suggested that they start at RPE level two or three. As their body adjusts and improves gradually, so can the intensity.

3. Variations of Exercise

The recommended workouts should feature characteristics of aerobic, rhythmic, repetitive, and continuous movements. The workout should allow people to move repeatedly and continuously and utilize large muscle groups, such as lower limb and foot muscles, for a sustained duration. Workouts such as power walking, brisk walking, jogging, riding an exercise bike, swimming, or aerobics are great options.

4. Duration

The American Academy of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends seniors work out at a moderate intensity. ACSM suggests that older patients can briskly walk three times for 10 minutes daily.

That adds up to about 150-300 minutes a week.

While engaging in high-intensity exercise or alternating between moderate and high intensity, exercise for 20-30 minutes daily, and accumulated exercise time should be around 75 to 150 minutes a week.

The workout should be in three stages: warm-up, training, and cooling down.

Warm-up and cool-down should be between 5 to 10 minutes each.

Five Simple Exercises for Cardiovascular Health

Our lower limbs are considered the human body’s second heart.

Hence, a lower body workout increases heart function. According to the author’s clinical observations, many people with poor heart, stomach, and lung performance often suffer from a hunchback.

When the back is hunched, the nerves from the upper thoracic spine to the heart, and lungs to the stomach are severely compressed. It indirectly affects the function of the organs. That is why incorporating more back-stretching exercises can improve the heart, lungs, and stomach processes.

The following are five simple heart exercises.

Workout 1: In-situ Tiptoe Jogging

Epoch Times Photo
Tiptoe-jog is a workout recommended by a renowned Japanese Doctor Dr. Toshiro Iketani (Photo by The Epoch Times)

Step 1: In a standing position, inhale deeply and tuck in your abdomen.

Step 2: Relax your arms and shoulders on either side of your body.

Step 3: Swing them naturally back and forth and tiptoe simultaneously. As you tiptoe jog in the same spot for one minute.

Step 4: Return to standing position. Let your arms swing on the sides naturally.

Step 5: Walk slowly in the same spot for 30 seconds.

You can repeat this set of exercises throughout the day, ideally, three times a day, an hour after a meal.

Workout 2: Squats

Epoch Times Photo
Squatting increases lymphatic and blood circulation in the lower limbs, which benefits heart health. (Photo by The Epoch Times)

Squatting increases lymphatic and blood circulation in the lower limbs, strengthening leg muscles. It is particularly effective for swollen limbs, edema, and varicose veins.

Step 1: Stand up straight. Heels should be shoulder width apart or slightly wider.

Step 2: Turn your toes 30 degrees outward.

Step 3: Bend your knees.

Step 4: Squat as if you are sitting on a chair.

Step 5: Straighten your back and push back, try to squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground.

Step 6: Return to a standing position slowly.

Tips: Your knees and waist should not feel sore when squatting properly. When squatting, it is natural for your knees to be slightly ahead of your toes. Do not restrain your knee movement, or you might injure yourself by putting too much weight and strain on them.

Adjust the number of repetitions and sets accordingly for people with weaker hearts—for instance, squat five to 10 times for each set and multiple times a day. You can also put your hands on a bar or against a wall for better balance and stabilization.

Workout 3. Walking

Epoch Times Photo
Walking is a good way to improve overall cardiovascular health. (photo by The Epoch Times)

Step 1: Inhale and expand your chest. Lift your head.

Step 2: Find and gaze at a focus point in front of you.

Step 3: Gently push your stomach out to straighten your back. Tighten your buttock and walk in a straight line.

Step 4: While walking, swing your arms as if you are marching. The amplitude of the swings should be “front three and back four.”

Tip: Use the strength of your upper arms and inner thighs. Tighten your stomach, buttock, and rectum/anus area.

Workout 4. Back Stretching

Epoch Times Photo
Back stretching can correct hunchback and improves oxygen intake and the performance of the heart, lungs, and stomach. (Photo by The Epoch Times)

Step 1: In a standing position, raise both arms to shoulder height, lengthen your body and put your palms together.

Step 2: Put your right foot forward. Lift your left heel and point your toes downward.

Step 3: Raise your arms above the head while turning both palms outward. Slowly lift your chin and stretch.

Step 4: Slowly release the pose and return to a standing position.

Step 5: Now switch legs. Repeat 10 times on each leg.

You can feel your back muscles and lower back stretching, expanding, and opening up as you practice.

Over time, this will improve hunchback conditions while increasing oxygen intake, which improves cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive performance.

Workout 5. Spinal Side Bend

Epoch Times Photo
Spinal side bend loosens tense muscles. It also improves the neuro compression of the upper chest, lungs, and digestive nerves. (Photo by The Epoch Times)

Step 1: Place your feet shoulder-width apart in a standing position.

Step 2: Bend your elbows, and turn your hands and arms upward into a 90-degree position on either side of your body.

Step 3: Tilt your upper body slowly to the left. Your elbows should be slightly lower than your shoulders.

Step 4: Return to the center.

Step 5: Gently tilt your upper body to the right.

Step 6: Tilt left, center, and right 20 times.

This exercise realigns the upper thoracic scoliosis and relaxes the muscle ligaments on both sides of the spine. It improves neuro compression in the upper chest, heart, lungs, and digestive nerves.

Wu Kuo-Pin
Wu Kuo-pin is the superintendent of Taiwan Xinyitang Heart Clinic. In 2008, he started to study traditional Chinese medicine and obtained a bachelor’s degree from China Medical University in Taiwan.
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