Whatever your core fitness goal, most of us strive for the same end results; looking good, feeling good and staying healthy. Staying healthy is key for any fitness lover looking to boost their performance and see gains faster. That’s why keeping a healthy heart is vital, whatever you’re looking to achieve. With National Heart Month in full swing, now’s a great opportunity to think about boosting your heart health and ensuring you stay on top form. Want to know how to support your heart and your goal? Follow our diet and circuit plans to stay at your peak.
How the heart supports every fitness goal
Your heart is the muscle that pumps blood around your body. Like any other muscle, it needs to be exercised in order to grow and become more powerful. Put simply, the better you take care of your heart, the more oxygen and nutrient-rich blood is pumped to other muscles. That means more power, better performance and faster recovery.
But, cardio isn’t the sole way to improve heart health, and if weight loss isn’t your end goal, there are other things you can do to keep your heart in great condition:
What to eat:
The nutrients you put into your body go a long way in supporting your heart, as well as boosting your overall health. Try and get healthy portions of the following:
Omega 3s found in oily fish, avocado and vegetable oils, as well as in our Fish Oil Omegas.
Zinc found in shellfish, lean beef, chicken and dairy products, as well as in supplements.
Vitamin B6 found in meat, fish, cereals, nuts and seeds, as well as supplements and multivitamins.
Magnesium found in beans, nuts, whole grains and leafy greens such as spinach, as well as supplements.
Polyphenols found in berries, like strawberries and blueberries.
Lycopene found in tomatoes.
Our ZMA Classic provides many of the nutrients required for a healthy heart and also improves recovery and prevents fatigue.
What to do:
Depending on your fitness goal, factoring in heart health might not be top of your priority list. We’ve got a few tips on keeping your heart healthy without taking away from your progress:
If you’re trying to shed excess fat and lose weight, keeping your heart healthy should be relatively easy. Simply stick to a regular cardio workout that makes you sweat and leaves you out of breath. This kind of exercise should have your heart pumping double time; if it’s not, you’re probably doing it wrong.
Building lean muscle is all about striking a balance between doing enough cardio to keep off excess fat and doing enough strength training to see definition. You’ll need to make sure you’re eating a lot of healthy fats, like Omega 3, as well as a decent dose of protein. In the gym, strength training is important, but to keep your heart healthy you’ll need to do your fair share of muscle maintaining cardio as well. HIIT activities are a great way to achieve this.
This is where it becomes more difficult to work heart health into your program. Paying attention to your diet is really important, but, contrary to popular belief, there are certain strength workouts that can boost heart health as well. This is where resistance training is your best friend. We’ve included a quick circuit that’s a great alternative to cardio workouts and takes a fraction of the time:
Dumbbell clean & press (with dumbbells between legs) - 8-10 reps
Kettlebell swings (if you don’t have kettlebells, use dumbbells) - 15 reps
Walking lunges - around 30 or approximately 50 feet
Repeat around 3 times and rest as little as possible between exercises.
Natural Muscle Company aim to provide great quality, natural products to support your health and your fitness goal. If you need any more information on any of our products or some advice on a program that’s right for you, get in touch with the team who’ll be happy to help. We love seeing your progress; share yours on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.