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How 15 Minutes of Exercise Helps with Heart Health

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How 15 Minutes of Exercise Helps with Heart Health

You can’t have a healthy heart without exercise. Regular exercise improves circulation, lowers blood pressure, reduces risk of heart disease, increases lung capacity and improves your overall fitness level.

Cooper Aerobics recommends adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week. We also recognize that most adults live busy lives, and sometimes it’s difficult to come up with even 30 minutes of free time to get a workout in. The good news is that you can get many heart healthy benefits of exercise with even just 10 to 15 minutes of exercise. Split your recommended 30 minutes of exercise into two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute sessions when you have time during the day.

Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Trainer Joshua Cuellas offers the following heart healthy exercise tips.

If you’re short on time and only have a few minutes to get a workout in, intervals are your best bet. Tabata training is a type of interval training known for quickly boosting heart rate with just a few minutes of moderate to high intensity movement. As an added bonus, many Tabata exercises can be done with body-weight exercises alone—no need for equipment!

How Tabata Works

Choose four to eight body-weight exercises (if you need an added challenge, add hand weights, but keep the weight limit comfortable). Joshua recommends these eight exercises:

  • Body squats
  • Pushups
  • Jumping jacks (or jumping rope)
  • Reverse lunge
  • Mountain climber
  • Superman
  • Side lunge
  • Back rows (with hand weights)

Alternating all (or some) of these exercises, do 20 seconds of work as hard as you can, with 10 seconds of rest. Repeat eight times for a total of four minutes. Rest for one minute. For a 15-minute workout, repeat three times. Looks like this:

20 seconds on, 10 seconds off (x8)
1 minute rest
20 seconds on, 10 seconds off (x8)
1 minute rest
20 seconds on, 10 seconds off (x8)
1 minute rest

Modifying the Tabata Workout

You should be in moderate physical condition before attempting the above Tabata workout. If you need to take it down a notch, increase your rest time. For example, you may want to alternate 20 seconds of movement with 20 seconds of rest, or even 30 to 45 seconds of movement with a one-minute rest.

If you need a low-impact workout, Tabata training can even be done on an elliptical or a bike. Simply alternate 20 seconds of high intensity work with 10 seconds of rest. Increase the resistance or incline to increase intensity.

Before you begin any exercise program, see your doctor for a physical. Your doctor can also recommend a target heart rate during exercise. Maximum heart rate is 220 beats per minute, minus your age. (If you are 30-years-old, your maximum heart rate should be 190bpm). The target heart rate is a percentage of the that number, based on fitness level.

Watch a video demonstration of a four-minute Tabata workout. For more information about training with a Professional Fitness Trainer at Cooper Fitness Center, click here.

Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.