Three types of exercises everyone should be doing to improve their heart health

When it comes to overall health, we all know that keeping active is key, but this is especially true when it comes to heart health. Celebrity fitness trainer Jim Karas is sharing why it's so important to have a well rounded exercise routine to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. 

Aerobic exercise

This is when you're moving enough to be clearly challenging the heart. Depending on your level of fitness, this can be as simple as walking, or doing high intensity interval training.  It is important to note that as your endurance builds, you must increase the intensity of your workours to continue to be preventative. This kind of activitiy can result in lower blood pressure and a lower resting heart rate, both which enhance heart health. Also, aerobic exercise may result in weight loss, or preventing weight gain, which is a plus.

Strength training

Increasing your lean muscle increases your metabolism, which may keep you lean. In addition, strength training may result in less body fat, specifically less visceral body fat (which is very close to the heart and that’s bad for heart health) and also less stress on the heart when performing strenuous activities, such as placing a carry on suitcase in an overhead compartment. Note: the combination of aerobic exercise and strength training can raise good cholesterol (hdl) and lower the bad cholesterol (ldl). It's also worth mentioning that strength training doesn't mean you have to become a body builder, but simply use your own body weight as resistance, like doing push ups or chin ups. 


This third type of exercise is often overlooked, but may actually be the most important. Stretching and any type of exercise that enhances “structural integrity” is crucial to overall health. Basically, by keeping the body in better balance, one is able to perform the aerobic and stretch training exercise that results in enhanced heart health. 

Additionally, if running is hurting your knees, then you have to stop running or correct the problem. The same goes for anyone with a bad back, shoulder, ankle, hip, neck, and so on. Working with a trainer or physiotherapist can help make sure you're never doing more harm than good. 

February is Heart Month and during this time all donations made to The Heart and Stroke Foundation will be matched to help stretch your generosity even further.