Your heart is a muscle too!

Heart disease is the number 1 cause of death worldwide, luckily it is mostly preventable by changing your lifestyle and managing the risk factors!

It will come as no surprise that being physically active is a huge step towards good heart health.

Being physically active is an effective tool for strengthening the heart muscle.  Other benefits include:

  • Keeps weight under control.
  • Wards off artery damage due to high cholesterol
  • Helps to reduce high blood sugar.
  • Helps to regulate high blood pressure.

All of which contribute to heart attacks or strokes!

All exercise is not created equal!

It is true to say that different types of exercise are needed to provide complete fitness.  There are three main types:

  1. Anaerobic
  2. Aerobic
  3. Flexibility, stretching and balance

Research has shown that a combination of these exercises may help raise HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Anaerobic exercise

This type of exercise can be beneficial if you are looking to build muscle or lose weight.  It is a high intensity, high power version of exercise.

It involves quick bursts of energy and are performed at maximum effort over a short period of time.

During anaerobic exercise, the body requires immediate energy.  It relies on stored energy sources rather than oxygen to fuel itself.

Benefits include:

  • Burns fat.
  • Builds muscle.
  • Strengthens bones.
  • Increases stamina.

Examples of anaerobic exercise:

  • Working on weight machines
  • Working with free weights – hand weights, barbells, and dumbbells
  • Working with resistance bands
  • Pilates, yoga, and other forms of strength training
  • Jumping
  • Sprinting

Aerobic exercise

Also known as “cardio” or cardiovascular conditioning. The term aerobic means “with oxygen”, which means breathing controls the amount of oxygen that can make it to the muscles to help them burn fuel and move.

During aerobic exercise, you breathe faster and deeper than when your heart rate is at rest.  You maximise the amount of oxygen in the blood.  Your heart rate goes up, increasing the blood flow to the muscles and then back to the lungs.

Benefits include:

  • Improved circulation.
  • Reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Reduces the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
  • May help lower and control blood pressure.
  • Helps lose weight and to keep it off.
  • Activates immune systems, making it less likely of catching colds and other viruses.
  • Strengthens the heart.
  • Boosts mood.

Examples of aerobic exercises include:

  • Brisk walking
  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Skipping with a rope
  • Tennis

Flexibility, stretching and balance.

Flexibility exercises, such as stretching, do not directly contribute to heart health. However, what they do is benefit musculoskeletal health. This in turn enables you to stay flexible and free from joint pain, cramping and other muscle problems.

Flexibility is an important part of being able to maintain all types of exercise.

Benefits include:

  • Improved performance in physical activities
  • Helps joints move through their full range of motion
  • Decreased risk of injury
  • Increase in muscle blood flow.
  • Enables muscles to work at their optimum efficiency.
  • Improved ability to tackle daily activities.

Examples of flexibility exercises include:

  • Stretching
  • Tai chi
  • Pilates
  • Yoga

Please be aware that before you start any exercise programme, it is recommended that you talk with your Chiropractor, G.P. or other health professionals to discuss what, if any limitations you may have, to better tailor any exercise programme to your individual needs.

If you would like some further information or to speak to a member of our team please call us on: Hitchin 01462 420077 or Luton 01582 579687, alternatively e-mail us at: or