8 Strength Training Exercises for a Healthier Heart

By , SparkPeople Blogger

February kicks off the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's American Heart Month along with the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign which focuses on heart health awareness for women. Heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the United States so taking care of our hearts via aerobic and strength training activities is moving us in the direction to overcoming this disease.

Aerobic activity is crucial for keeping our cardiovascular system strong and healthy, but we should not forget the role strength training plays in keeping our hearts healthy, too. According to Dr. Kenneth Cooper, AKA the Father of Aerobics, the older we are the more important strength training needs to be a part of our workout routine. In his book Start Strong, Finish Strong by the time we reach the age of 60 we should be spending 55% of our workout time toward aerobic activity, which "provides the most health benefits" and 45% of our time to strength/resistance training.

According to United States Department of Health and Human Services 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans doing two full body strength training sessions per week is all it takes to keep our bodies healthy.

Remember if you have a history of cardiovascular disease or have experienced a heart attack, please be sure you get medical clearance from your physician or cardiac rehab before performing any of these exercises.

And don't forget to wear red on Friday, February 4th in honor of National Wear Red Day!

Hamstrings, Glutes,. Quadriceps

Leg Press

Abs, Lower Back, Outer Thighs

Ice Skater


Chest Press with Resistance Band

Shoulders and Back

Reverse Fly


Rotated Overhead Press


Handbag Curl


Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extensions


Ab Twist with Medicine Ball

For more strength training exercise ideas view Coach Nicole's videos for a lower and upper body workouts.

7-Minute Lower Body Workout

8-Minute Upper Body Workout

Were you aware of the importance strength training plays in our fitness journey the older we get? Do you currently strength train at least two times a week?