Exercise for better heart health

Heart is one of the most vital organs of the human body. It works beat by beat, minute by minute to keeps an individual’s life ticking without ever resting - not even in one’s sleep. Such an important servicing organ deserves to be treated like a precious commodity and requires a healthy preservation. According to a series of new studies published by the Lancet Health journal, cardiovascular diseases are now the leading cause of mortality in India, with a rise in occurrence of heart disease and stroke by over 50 percent from 1990 to 2016. An even more alarming statistic is that more than 50 percent of cardiovascular disease deaths in India in 2016 were in people younger than 70 years.

Erratic lifestyle habits such as irregular or unhealthy dietary habits, lack of exercise and sleep, undue mental stress are common causes that lead to a gradual development of cardiovascular diseases. However, if one is willing to do a course correction, it’s never too late to maintain a healthy lifestyle by starting with some cardio exercises that help maintain an optimum heart health. The American Heart Health Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise on most days of the week. Here are 6 best forms of exercise that help keep the risk of heart diseases at bay by increasing the heart’s health:

1. Walking :

Walking is one of the most basic and popular cardio exercises. It is enjoyable, inexpensive, safe and fits easily into busy schedules. One can take in time by walking to the supermarket, or walking to work, or walk in the park at leisure. Walking activity utilizes the large muscles in the body in a continuous and rhythmic manner over a period of time. The walking pace must vary between time intervals so that one not only has the energy to sustain the activity. This technique uses up some reserves of fat or carbohydrates stored in the muscles, allowing one to leverage the stored fat more readily. Number of calories burnt: 250 calories per hour @ speed of 3 miles per hour

2. Yoga :

Pushing the heart rate up and down immediately can be detrimental to those who haven’t indulged in any kind of physical exercise for a long time. Instead, indulging in light yoga asanas not only improve heart’s health, but are a great way to strengthen and tone the body muscles. Ashtanga and Bikram styles of active Yoga offer immense cardiovascular benefits, as one’s heart rate is elevated throughout the activity. Number of calories burnt: 250 calories per hour

3. Swimming :

Stepping into a pool for a workout really pumps up the heart (and lungs). Leisure swimming brings a host of benefits for people who have been extremely unfit for years together. It gives a larger return on the time invested in the exercise. The key to earning effective results from swimming activity is to vary between the lengths of the pool and swim techniques on each day of the week. Number of calories burnt: 250 calories in 45 minutes

4. Cycling :

A number of medical research studies have revealed the power of regular cycling in considerably minimizing the risk of coronary heart diseases. Cycling supports the large muscle groups in the legs to elevate heart rate that improves cardiovascular fitness, and mental health along with calorie burn. Number of calories burnt: 250 calories in 45 minutes @ 10 miles per hour

5. Weight training :

Weight training helps build muscle mass by burning the fat, and it is an extremely important form of workout for people prone to the risk of heart diseases and poor bone health. Using one’s own body weight is the most effective technique to perform body weight training. The challenge is to include proper repetitions according to the tempo of the exercise movements. For instance, 30 repetitions of push ups can be divided into three sets of 8, 10 and 12 evenly spaced between rest intervals, and one can increase the repetitions gradually upon finding comfort with the number. Number of calories burnt: 180 calories per hour for 30-minute strength training

6. Skipping :

Most people would laugh at skipping as a favourite past time for the kids or even old fashioned but skipping is an incredible way to get a full cardiovascular workout while having some fun at the same time. It’s less time consuming and 10 minutes of skipping can have the same benefits as 30 minutes of brisk walking. It is an inexpensive way of getting fitter from the comfort of your home or a park. Before getting started, people with pre-existing conditions advised to consult a doctor to avoid any future situations. Number of calories burnt: 200 to 300 calories in 20 minutes



No matter what exercise one chooses to do, 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per five days a week is a great way to begin working out. While regular workouts coupled with proper dietary and sleep habits do pay off with improved cardiovascular health, it is always better to be prepared or covered for any kind of unexpected heart-related emergencies or illnesses. Choosing critical Illness insurance plans such as the Future Generali Heart and Health Insurance plan keeps an individual well-equipped to deal with any kind of health emergency related to heart diseases and other critical illnesses.

The CI plan offers a choice of four cover options and provides the insured with a lump sum treatment amount upfront, depending on the severity of the condition (minor, moderate or major) upon diagnosis. In addition to covering treatment of 59 critical illnesses, the CI plan has an inbuilt death benefit from day 1, and multiple claim benefits can be availed by the insured (2 minor and 2 moderate) as long as the full cover is not exhausted. Purchasing the CI plan online directly from the Future Generali website can result in lower premiums given the special discounted prices, and the insurer can also claim tax benefits under Sections 80C and 80D of the Indian Income Tax Act, on the premiums paid in a given financial year.

Risking one’s health means risking not just your life, but also your family’s well-being. So, it is prudent to cover oneself and his/her family with a good critical illness insurance plan and be financially and medically prepared to ward off any health exigencies caused due to critical illnesses.