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Strong Hearts are Healthy Hearts: The Heart Facts of Exercise

Fitness • February 23, 2024

February is National Heart Health Month and at Fhitting Room it is our philosophy that healthy hearts equal happy lives! Just two and a half hours of aerobic exercise per week can have a profound impact on overall health as an adult, especially as it relates to heart health. The key to a healthy heart? Well, that’s called variety! Aerobic exercise, strength training, and even balance + flexibility training all work together to reduce stress, increase blood flow, and lower risk of disease. Let us break it down for you. 

Where to Start: What Exercises Increase Heart Health? 

Aerobic Exercise 

Aerobic exercise is cardiovascular exercise, or cardio, that gets your heart pumping. During this type of exercise, your blood pumps through your body at a faster rate causing your lungs to take in more oxygen. This intake of oxygen is what allows your muscles to move and sustain activity for long stretches. 

Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart. A strong heart does not need to beat as fast, and it is able to circulate blood more efficiently throughout your body. Our Signature FHIT classes combine various forms of aerobic activity, like rowing, ski ergs, assault bikes, and box jumps, to keep your body moving and blood pumping with a little added fun of group fitness energy. 

Strength Training 

Strength training, or resistance training, is any type of exercise that involves strengthening and toning muscles by contracting them against a resisting force to build endurance. The repetition used in strength training, most often seen through lifting weights, increases good cholesterol which ultimately results in less plaque buildup of bad cholesterol around the heart, which can lead to coronary heart disease and heart attacks. 

Our skill-focused class Just STRENGTH focuses on slow and controlled movements, lower rep counts and heavier weight loads to help you build strength and muscular endurance. Looking for even more of a challenge when it comes to growing skills and lifting heavy? Advanced Kettlebells takes your kettlebell work to the next level with more complex strength skills, like the Snatch and Jerk variations, and uses more detailed cues so you can truly master your skills. 

All of our classes include a strength portion, even our Signature FHIT, and are led by certified personal trainers who will coach you on technique and form to get the best results and benefits from your strength training so you can live FHIT!

Balance + Flexibility Training 

Flexibility and balance workouts, such as stretching and yoga, are just as important for managing heart health as aerobic exercise and strength training. Flexibility and balance training when maintained correctly not only trains your body to partake in aerobic and strength training workouts more efficiently and with more ease, but also helps to reduce stress levels. This type of exercise focuses on breathing and slow movements meant to control the flow of oxygen and increase focus. A healthy body is nothing without a healthy mind. Lowered stress levels benefit heart health by reducing cortisol levels, which lowers blood pressure. 

We wind down after each class at Fhitting Room with breathing and stretching exercises to slow down your heart rate and stretch out your hard working muscles. Incorporate stretching into your routine whenever you are working out to make sure your muscles are loose and your mind is calm so you can crush your workouts. 

How Much Exercise Makes a Difference? 

Small adjustments to your daily life and workout routine can make a big impact on your heart health when you incorporate aerobic, strength training, and flexibility exercises. For adults, just 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity five days a week is enough to strengthen your heart. Pair this with two days per week of nonconsecutive strength training and daily balance and flexibility training to keep your body ready to move with ease. These small additions set you up for success for a stronger and healthier life. 

Everything you need to keep your heart pumping strong can be found at your next FHIX! Let’s live FHIT together this Heart Health month. 

Sign up for your next FHIX now!

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heart health month
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