Do you find yourself huffing and puffing every time you climb stairs? Struggling to keep up with your kids or grandkids? Wishing you had more energy to get through the day? If so, it’s a sign that your heart needs more conditioning. Whatever your age or fitness level, giving your heart a workout will do wonders for your health, including increased stamina, a lower risk for cancer, improved mood, and better sleep.
✓ When you’re just getting started. The Basic Cardio Workout is the perfect workout program when you’re just starting to exercise, or coming back to exercise after taking a break.
✓ Walk your way to cardiac fitness. Did you know that just 2.5 hours of walking each week can cut your risk of heart disease by 30%? The Beginner Walking Workout gradually increases the time and intensity of your walks.
✓ Sore knees? Pool exercises are easy on the joints, while the water also provides resistance for your muscles to work against. The Pool Workout offers a series of exercises you can repeat as long as you want.
✓ Add more fun to your workout with Cardio Dance. Like to dance? If so, you’ll love the Cardio Dance Workout. Put on your favorite tunes and get ready to shake and shimmy!
✓ Give your upper body a workout, too.The Kickboxing Workout is a great way to exercise your arms, thanks to the workout’s powerful arm movements. Don’t worry — with all the shuffling and kicking in kickboxing, your legs also get a workout.
✓ Ready to boost your workout intensity? This type of training alternates short bursts of intense activity with longer periods of lower-intensity exercise. The Interval Walking Workout gives you six weeks of interval workouts of varying length and intensity.
✓ “Step up” to a higher-intensity workout. When you add a vertical element to your workout — like getting on and off a step — you tone your leg muscles and burn more calories, making it a higher-intensity workout. The Step Workout gives you 11 step exercises to help you boost your cardiac fitness in less time.
Howard E. LeWine, M.D.
Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publishing