Regular exercise can strengthen your cardiovascular system. According to the Cleveland Clinic, benefits include improved circulation, increased energy levels, reduced body fat and improved sleep quality. If you have heart disease, or want to prevent getting a heart condition in the future, consider adding an aerobic exercise regimen to your weekly routine. This is one of many independent living activities you may participate in with your friends. Before beginning, ask your health care professional about what level of exercise is right for you.
Here are the top three types of exercises for seniors with heart disease:
Every time you exercise, you should start by warming up with some stretches. The National Institute on Aging said that stretching before physical activity gives you more freedom of movement and can help with your balance.
Before stretching, march in place for a few minutes to get your muscles warmed up. With each stretching exercise, you'll want to slowly bend into the required position, going only as far as you can without experiencing pain or discomfort. The NIH said to hold each position for 30 seconds, and perform each stretch a few times during the overall session. Keep in mind that you should never let your limbs bounce, nor should you lock your joints, as those behaviors could cause injury.
2. Running and jogging
Your ability to perform these types of exercise will depend on you general physical condition. Your doctor will be able to tell you if these exercises are right for you. Running and jogging are aerobic exercises that can positively affect your cardiac health. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Queensland School of Medicine in New Orleans, found that cardiac rehabilitation and exercise therapy benefited seniors with coronary heart disease. Seniors who participated in cardiac rehabilitation and exercise training programs saw improvements in maximal heart rates and maximal metabolic equivalents, which is a measure of energy expenditure.
A separate study, led by the former president of the Canadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation, found that individuals who adhered to exercise-based rehabilitation reduced cardiac mortality, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and systolic blood pressure when compared to people who underwent usual, non-exercise-based rehabilitation.
If you've recently had partial or total knee replacement surgery, there are still ways to get great cardio exercise. When speaking with The New York Times, Dr. Freddie Fu of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine said that swimming and biking can give you a nice workout while protecting your new knees.
3. Strength training
You don't need to go into the gym and pump iron to get a good workout. There are plenty of exercises that you can do at home with minimal equipment. The NIH recommend getting 30 minutes of exercise two or more days a week. If it's been a while since you were active, don't be embarrassed about starting with only a few pounds of weight. Resistance bands are another great way to get some strength training - and they are extremely portable. Bring them over to a friend's house and work out together. Staying in shape is often more fun when you can do it with a partner or group.
As with all new exercise regimens, you should consult your doctor before jumping into a brand new strength training routine. One good general rule to follow is to regulate your breathing while exercising. The NIH said to always breath out as you push or lift, and breath in when relaxing. Never lock your joints, and never push yourself to do more than you can handle. Exercising is about steady progression.