Are you tired of the same old exercises? If the answer is yes, now would be a good time to try a new routine.

Remember when you couldn’t wait to get to the gym? You’d wake up and head out the door, eager to jump on your favorite piece of equipment or you’d race to be first in line for your group fitness class. After a while, that eagerness turned to ambivalence, or worse, dread. Soon you had to convince yourself to go. That then affected how often you worked out. Now you need to find a way to get excited about the gym or your group fitness class or your solo inhouse workout routines.

WE HAVE SOME IDEAS TO GET YOU STARTED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

First, you have to make heart health a priority. The best way to make sure you’re doing what’s right for your body, mind, and your heart is to make sure you get adequate cardio workouts. Don’t make it too difficult. It’s not about how you move. It’s about how often you move at the right speed. Cardio should be about moving your large muscle groups like your arms and legs. What you’re doing when you’re running on a treadmill or in that kickboxing class is you’re forcing blood to go through your arteries. (That’s a good thing.) Your heart and lungs are forced to work harder to meet the increased demand for oxygen in your body. Oxygen is what helps to keep your cells in tip-top shape. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do. You just have to move on a regular basis.

WHAT KIND OF EXERCISES ARE THE BEST CARDIO EXERCISES FOR YOUR HEART?

Swimming is an excellent exercise that’s not too hard on your muscles and joints. The motion of the water helps to calm your nerves and lower your stress levels. The best part? People of all ages can do it. If you don’t have access to a pool, check with your local gym. Chances are they offer swim lessons, water aerobics, and some even offer hydro biking classes that can be a lot of fun.

Get out and dance. Ten minutes of toetapping fun is a quick and easy way to get in a cardio workout, so turn up the music and dance to your heart’s content. It will get the endorphins hopping, your body moving, and your heart rate up. It’s the perfect exercise for anyone at any skill level. You don’t have to dance like Fred and Ginger to reap the benefits. Check with your local dance studios if you’d like to take a dance class or two. They have plenty of classes to choose from.

Grab your bike and go! Remember how much fun you had when you’d ride your bike around the neighborhood when you were a kid? Well, news flash – you can experience that fun again. Grab your bike and take a ride around town. Have your children or grandchildren pull their bikes out of the garage and hit a bike trail for hours of family fun. Biking is a great way to improve circulation, relieve stress, and get your heart pumping

Join a team. There are dozens of organized team sports for adults. Join a team or two. Play basketball or volleyball or dig your old bowling ball out of the attic and get started today. The camaraderie will do you some good and the exercise is just what your heart needs.

By Eilleen Smith

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