5 Best Exercises to Strengthen Your Heart: A Guide You Can Follow


Medically reviewed by

Dr. Naresh Babu

Heart Health

7 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Exercising strengthens heart muscles and also improves circulation
  • Do aerobic exercises, strength training and stretching to better heart health
  • Squats, walking, cycling and yoga are some of the best heart exercises

Your heart is the powerhouse that keeps your body going. By pumping blood, it provides other organs with the nutrition and oxygen that they need. If your heart isn’t working optimally, it impacts your overall health. Conditions such as obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure increase the stress on your heart. High pressure can eventually lead to a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular diseases. So, to care for your heart exercise regularly. Exercising tackles obesity, high cholesterol, high BP and even conditions like diabetes. It strengthens and builds heart muscles, and helps your arteries dilate more easily. In other words, your heart is able to pump blood more effortlessly. Research indicates that just 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week is enough. It will improve your heart’s health and also lower your risk of heart disease. So, take a look at the forms of heart exercises good for cardiac health, and how to perform specific heart strengthening exercises. 

healthy heart

Best heart exercises that you should follow

Do a combination of these 3 forms of exercise for good heart health,

Aerobic exercises 

Aerobic exercises are more commonly known as cardio exercises. They are considered to be the best exercise for heart health. This is because they get your heart rate up and help you sweat. Over time, aerobic exercises help you lose weight, lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation. Another excellent benefit is that they enhance how well your heart pumps. This is known as an improvement in cardiac output. Pick aerobic activities if you are looking for an exercise for heart and lungs to improve their efficiency. 

Strength or resistance training 

To keep your heart strong exercise diligently, especially if you’re overweight. In addition to cardiovascular exercises, do strength training. Also known as resistance training, this form of exercise reduces fat. In combination with aerobic exercises, strength training also lowers cholesterol

While strength training is immensely beneficial, keep these two points in mind. 

  • Focus on all areas of your body, not just your thighs or belly. 
  • Do strength training exercises 2 to 3 times a week. But, don’t do so on consecutive days.

Stretching and flexibility 

To avoid heart problems, exercise and stretch as well. Focusing on stretching and flexibility offers indirect benefits. By incorporating these exercises into your routine, you can prevent muscle cramps, stiff joints, and other aches and pains. As a result, you’ll be able to continue with aerobic exercises and strength training. Think of it as a primer that will help you perform the best exercise for healthy heart.

best practices for a healthy heart

5 best exercises to strengthen your heart

Now that you know of beneficial workouts, take a look at specific exercises that you can add to your routine. 


Walking briskly is the simplest aerobic exercise. You don’t have to invest in any equipment; just wear a pair of good walking shoes. You can walk outdoors or indoors, depending on what you prefer. If you want to do a heart exercise at home, follow walking exercise videos. They combine brisk walking with basic hand and leg movements. 


Search for ‘exercise heart health’ and one of the options you’ll find is cycling. It is an excellent alternative to walking. It betters circulation and reduces blood fat levels. Additionally, it strengthens your heart muscles and improves lung function too. You can cycle outdoors or use a stationary exercise bike.

Core Exercises

Exercises like Pilates encourage healthier living by strengthening core muscles, enhancing adaptability, and improving balance. Therefore, we require strong core muscles to carry goods upstairs or perform any other energy-intensive jobs. In addition, having a strong core keeps our hearts healthy, and our bodies fit


You can perform resistance training using weights or your own body weight. Squats are an example of the latter. To perform a squat correctly, follow these steps. 

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width or hip-width apart. 
  • Turn out your toes slightly, about 15°. 
  • Straighten your arms in front of your chest. Clasp your hands for better balance. 
  • Lower your hips as if you are sitting on a chair. 
  • As a beginner, squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Go further if possible. 
  • Keep your back straight, chest open and relax your shoulders. 
  • Press your heels into the floor and come back to the starting position.  
  • Ensure that your hips are not protruding backwards when you do so.


A push-up is another exercise that uses your body weight to create resistance. To perform a push-up correctly, follow these steps. 

  • Perform this exercise on a mat if you are a beginner. It will give you better cushioning and grip. 
  • Get down on all fours. Ensure that your knees are below your hip and your palms are under your shoulders. 
  • Then, adjust your palms so that they are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. 
  • Straighten your legs so that your weight is on your toes and palms.  
  • Your back and legs should form a straight line. 
  • Tighten your core, bend your arms and bring your chest as close to the floor as possible. 
  • Your elbows should now be at a 90° angle. 
  • Then, push your palms into the mat and raise your chest. This way you can come back to the starting position. 

Interval training

Interval training is a fantastic way to receive a full-sized exercise in a short amount of time. It alternates between brief bursts of high-intensity activity and longer durations of active recovery. For instance, you may run for one minute, walk for three minutes, and repeat the process. Your arteries and veins perform better when your pulse is raised and lowered, which helps you burn calories.

Strength training

Your heart will be supported by your body's many muscles that you build. Weight training will help you develop muscle and burn fat. The best weight training occurs when you use your body weight, even though you can use weights at the gym. Exercises like push-ups, squats, and even pull-ups help you build muscle and improve the health of your bones and heart.


Dancing is an effective way to maintain heart health. All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes, some room, and motivational music. 120 to 135 beats per minute is considered a good aerobic rhythm. Dancing can range from intense to very easy, depending on your ability and preference. You can dance in a group setting, such as a Zumba class, or by yourself at home.


Swimming is not just for the summer. Swimming laps or participating in water aerobics classes can be full-body exercises that strengthen your heart and body. Swimming is different from other activities in that it is gentle on your joints and allows you to move without experiencing a lot of pain.


Yoga is a low-impact exercise that builds flexibility and balance. Moreover, it also helps you stretch. To get these benefits, practice poses such as malasana, adho mukha svanasana and setu bandha sarvangasana. You can also try pranayama if you’re looking for a breathing exercise for heart. 

Tai Chi

An ancient Chinese workout method based on martial arts is called tai chi. It is often referred to as "moving meditation" since it combines deep breathing with rhythmic body motions. This exercise is excellent for the heart's health as well as the mind and body.

Household Chores

Doing tasks around the house is a terrific way to stay active and move about. Cleaning, dusting, organising the kitchen or closet, watering the plants, and other such tasks are excellent ways to maintain heart health.

While exercising undoubtedly improves heart health, if you suffer from heart conditions, consult with a doctor regularly. This way you can stay ahead of complications. Also, you can get answers to queries such as: ‘What is the best exercise for heart patients?’ ‘Which exercise for heart blockages can I perform?’ 

With the Bajaj Finserv Health, you can find a doctor for such needs effortlessly. View specialists in your city and book an online doctor consultation or in-person appointment. In the process, get access to special deals and offers.Avail Bajaj Finserv Health card and get 10 free online consultations with top specialists.

Published on 30 Jun 2021Last updated on 27 Mar 2023
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Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.


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