As you may have heard, February was American Heart Month, an entire 28 days dedicated to raising national awareness of heart disease and educating the public in ways to prevent it. Although there are many contributing factors to overall heart health, one of the most effective ways to prevent heart disease is exercise. Movement in general is great for your heart: It gets the blood flowing, expanding the veins and arteries in your circulatory system, bringing wave after wave of fresh oxygen into your brain. But specifically focused exercise is even better, and making it part of your weekly routine will lower your chances of heart disease like few other things can. To help you on your journey to heart health, we’ve compiled a list of physical activities sure to keep you (and your doctor) happy.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
High Intensity Interval Training is an exercise method that is currently taking the world by storm. The concept is simple: Instead of following the typical exercise pattern of short bursts of intensity followed by long periods of rest, the equation is flipped. HIIT instructors teach shorter classes, adding much longer periods of intense energy expenditure followed by carefully calculated periods of rest. The goal is to maintain a high (but stable) heart rate throughout the exercise session, and the results can be dramatic. HIIT newbies experience high rates of concentrated fat loss and consistent gains in strength, agility, and overall muscle vitality. This great news for anyone looking for a boost in heart health, keeping a safely elevated heart rate for extended periods of time ensures that your heart will be working effectively when you need it most.

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