FITNESS

How To Get Your Heart Rate Up Without Running

Raising your heart rate is extremely important. Here’s why.

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By Maddy Barney

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We hear how important it is to raise our heart rate all the time. But what exactly does that entail? What does getting your heart rate up actually do, and how can you go about boosting it? Well, you might have heard that running is an excellent way to get it going, but finding the motivation to tie those laces up and get out of the door can be difficult. Fear not, there are other ways!

Benefits of raising your Heart Rate

Exercise will improve your overall quality of life. Fact. Do you ever just feel stiff, or find that moving around is a little difficult? Sometimes, that also comes with annoying pains in the lower back or the knees. This aching, overall body stiffness can be reduced by regularly raising your heart rate. A raised heart rate means an increased amount of blood and nutrients is sent to the joints and muscles, essentially lubricating those stiff areas. Regular exercise, when done correctly, can help reduce stiffness and the aches and pains that come with daily life.

Studies have also shown that regular exercise can help improve your cognitive function — which is essentially the way your brain operates things like problem solving skills and reflexes. Just like the rest of your body, your brain needs nutrients, and physical activity has even been shown to reduce the chance of developing a cognitive disease like Alzheimer’s.

Next time you sit an exam, try fitting in a quick 30 minute workout before and see how you do. Increasing your heart rate stimulates your body to release hormones and chemicals that improve your focus and overall mental performance.

Regular exercise has shown to improve your mood too. Various studies have observed the effects of exercise on depression and anxiety. Raising your heart rate stimulates the release of hormones, such as endorphins, that improve your mood. When you’re feeling down, try going for a walk. Raising your heart rate doesn’t have to mean a maximum-capacity sweat session, it’s all about just getting your body moving!

Running isn’t your only option

The beauty of aiming to raise your heart rate is that just about any form of exercise will help you receive these benefits! A good place to start is thinking about what you want to improve. If weight loss is your goal, start by going for walks. They don’t have to be anything too intense, just a simple 30 minute walk around the neighbourhood will do it! If you want to improve your flexibility, yoga is excellent for this, and you’d be surprised how fast your heart will start to pump when moving through a yoga flow. For a more toned look, weight training is an excellent place to start. The Fitness Buddy app should be your first port of call for help with a good weight training program.

Raising your heart rate provides many benefits to your overall well being. The more we take care of our bodies, the more they’ll take care of us. Regular exercise provides nutrients to your joints and hormones to your body that can help improve your overall quality of life. Sounds appealing, right? But getting started is often the hardest part.

Remember, simply being consistent with whatever you're ready for is a huge step. If you’re starting from absolute zero, even just going for a short walk three times a week is better than nothing. It’s said to take 21 days to create a habit, and only then will you see results. Give it time. You’ve got this!

Maddy has worked in the health and fitness industry for 5 years. She has a bachelors in Exercise Science and has recently received her Masters in Exercise Physiology. She has worked with a wide demographic of clients as a Personal Trainer and loves helping people reach their goals and continue to grow.  She is an outdoor enthusiast and dedicates her workouts to rock climbing, hiking and whatever new experiences may come her way.

Main Photo Credit: Syda Productions/shutterstock.com; Second Photo Credit: Goran Bogicevic/shutterstock.com; Third Photo Credit: Dmytrenko Vlad/shutterstock.com