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Workout program for heart health

February 1, 2024 - By Mathieu Têtu

Temps de lecture 3 minutes

In my article Heart health: the importance of training this muscle, I clearly outlined the many benefits of physical activity on your heart. Cardiovascular training as well as strength training has also been clearly associated with improved heart health.

Here’s a starter program to get your heart into gear. It’s easy to do at home. Please note that it’s important to consult a health professional before increasing your level of physical activity.

Workout program for heart health

The muscular component: start with two (2) sets of each exercise and gradually increase the number of sets from one week to the next. For the number of reps, start with the lowest number indicated and progress by two (2) reps with each session. Be sure to progress only if the exercise is easy to perform. Remember to breathe evenly when exercising and never hold your breath.

Perform this muscle-building program 2 to 3 times a week, with one day off between each session.

7 Heart-Healthy Exercises

1. Warm-up: Walk

Duration: 10 minutes

Walk naturally at normal speed. Swing your arms and keep your head up while being relaxed.

workout program - heart health - warmup walk

2. Chair Squats

Reps: 6-12

Rest: 1min30

Sit on the tip of the chair. Keep back straight, chest out, head up and abs tight. Stand up and sit back down.

3. Sidesteps

Reps: 5-12 (per side, alternate sides)

Perform sidesteps, moving from left to right. Keep your head above your feet. Keep back straight and abs tight.

workout program - heart health - sidestep

4. Seated hip flexors

Reps: 5-12 (per side, alternate sides)

In a seated position, back straight, raise the knee (hip flexion), aiming to contract the psoas, the deep muscle in the back.

workout program - heart health seated hip flexor

5. Side and front raises

Reps: 6-12 (alternate on each side)

Load: 3, 5 or 8 lb to start

Rest: 1min30

In standing position, with knees slightly bent and back straight, hold a weight in each hand, neutral grip. Raise your arms on either side to shoulder height and lower. Then raise arms in front, still at shoulder height. Keep elbows slightly bent and abs tight.

6. Standing Reverse fly

Reps: 6-12

Rest: 1min30

Place a resistance band around the forearms with elbows parallel and bent at a 90° angle. Back straight, neck relaxed, abs contracted. Open arms to either side and squeeze shoulder blades together. Hold position (shoulders back). Then slowly bring your arms to the front, keeping tension in the elastic band. Keep shoulders down.

7. Cool down: Walk

Duration: 15 minutes

Walk naturally at normal speed. Swing your arms and keep your head up and shoulders relaxed.

For the cardiovascular component, accumulate 150 minutes per week, doing 3 to 6 sessions per week. We recommend shorter periods of cardio and doing them as many days as possible (e.g. 5 days of 30 minutes of cardio for a total of 150 minutes). What’s more, you can accumulate your daily cardio minutes in blocks (e.g. 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening).

This program can be as intense as you’d like. So don’t hesitate to ask our kinesiologists for help in drawing up a customized plan. The Personal Trainer-Kinesiologist will take your needs, your goals, and your physical condition into account. They will also ensure that the proposed exercises are carried out correctly. So, whether you choose this program or another customized one, remember that regular exercise can only be good for your body, your heart, and your mind!

Enjoy your workouts!

Workout program for heart health is a post from Nautilus Plus. The Nautilus Plus blog aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
Copyright © Nautilus Plus 2024

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