No matter how huge biceps you have or how nice your booty is, if your heart is not healthy enough, they are just useless.
Maintaining a healthy heart is crucial for our overall well-being, and regular exercise is one of the best ways to achieve that. Exercise helps strengthen the heart muscle, improve blood flow, and prevent heart disease.
In this article, I’ll share the five best exercises to strengthen your heart, including their benefits and how you can incorporate them into your workout routine.
What Makes a Good Heart-Strengthening Exercise?
Before we dive into the exercises, it’s important to understand what makes a good heart-strengthening exercise.
Aerobic exercises (such as running, cycling, and swimming) are the most effective in improving cardiovascular health as they increase your heart and breathing rate.
Your aim should be to achieve about 50-85% of your maximum heart rate to get the maximum cardiovascular benefits. 
Remember, the ideal heart-strengthening exercise should be challenging but also safe and sustainable over time.
5 Best Exercises to Strengthen Your Heart
Here are the top 5 exercises to strengthen your heart.
Walking is one of the simplest and low-impact exercises anyone can do to improve cardiovascular health and strengthen the heart muscle. Regular walking can also help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and minimize the risk of heart disease.
How to incorporate walking into your exercise routine:
- Start by walking for 10-15 minutes at a moderate pace.
- Gradually increase your time and distance as your fitness level improves.
- Aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking most days of the week.
However, if you’re not a fan of walking outdoors or have a busy schedule, owning an under-desk treadmill can be a great way to walk while you work.
Cycling is a great, low-impact exercise that can be done indoors or outdoors. It is an excellent way to raise and strengthen your heart rate. Cycling regularly can also help strengthen your lower body, reduce blood pressure, and improve overall fitness.
How to incorporate cycling into your exercise routine:
- Beginners should start cycling for 10-15 minutes at a moderate intensity pre-day and gradually increase the time and intensity as the fitness level improves.
- Aim for 30-60 minutes a day for 3 to 5 days per week.
Swimming is an excellent way to improve cardiovascular health and overall fitness, especially for people with knee and joint pain. You can start swimming in a pool or open water. This low-impact exercise helps reduce bad cholesterol and maintain a healthy weight.
How to incorporate swimming into your exercise routine:
- Start by 10-15 minutes at a moderate pace, and gradually increase your time and distance as your body allows.
- Start with 15-20 minute swims every other day, and then gradually increase to 30-minute swims five days a week
4. Circuit Training
Circuit training involves performing a series of six or more exercises in a specific order with little to no rest in between exercises. It is an effective way to increase your aerobic capacity and heart health. This exercise also helps increase endurance and strength, improve balance and coordination, and burn calories.
How to incorporate circuit training into your exercise routine:
- To include circuit training into your exercise routine, select a series of exercises that target different muscle groups.
- Perform each exercise for a set amount of time or number of repetitions, then move on to the next exercise without rest.
- Rest for 1-2 minutes at the end of each circuit, then repeat for 2-3 circuits.
- Your ideal circuit training can be anywhere from 10-45 minutes for 2 to 3 times per week.
5. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
The HIIT workout involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of low-intensity movement. This cardio exercise is great for people who want to burn a lot of calories in a short period, boost stamina, and take their cardiovascular fitness to the next level.
How to incorporate HIIT into your exercise routine:
- Select an exercise, such as sprinting, cycling, or jumping jacks.
- Perform the exercise at maximum effort (at least 80% of your max heart rate) for 30 seconds up to 2-3 minutes.
- The ideal length of the HIIT training for most people is about 30 minutes up to 60 minutes for 2-3 days per week. 
Tips for Getting Started
Getting started with a new exercise routine can be challenging, but it’s an important step toward improving your heart health. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Consult with a healthcare provider: Before starting any new exercise routine, it’s always recommended to consult with your healthcare provider, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or concerns.
- Start slow: It’s important to start slow and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts as your body allows. This will help you avoid injury and prevent burnout.
- Choose activities you enjoy: Select activities that you enjoy and that fit your lifestyle, help you stick to your exercise routine, and make the process more enjoyable.
- Set realistic goals: Set realistic goals for yourself and track your progress to keep yourself motivated and on track.
- Find your workout buddy: Working out with a friend or family member can be a great way to stay motivated and accountable.
- Mix it up: Incorporate various exercises (like outdoor exercise, hiking, etc.) into your routine to prevent boredom and challenge your body in different ways.
Maintaining a healthy heart is crucial for our overall well-being. Regular exercise and a healthy diet are essential parts of maintaining heart health.
Incorporate these exercises into your routine to improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of heart disease. Consistency is the key to achieving results, so schedule regular exercise sessions to make it a habit. Remember to listen to your body and adjust your routine accordingly.
Feature Image Source: Canva.com
Bishnu Pada Das is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and owner of CrazyAthlete.com. He encourages and empowers people to lose weight, build muscle, and lead a healthy lifestyle.