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Top Three Exercises to Increase Your Heart Rate

From Crossfit® to Zumba® to running, there are numerous ways of staying healthy and in shape, all of which are beneficial to your body in different ways. If you are looking to keep your heart healthy, it is important to engage in regular cardiovascular exercise.

Cardio exercise refers to anything that gets your heart beating faster. Aerobic exercise will increase your heart rate and increase the circulation and blood flow throughout the entire body. Not only is exercise ideal for strengthening your heart, but it improves the functioning of your lungs and enables your body to make optimum use of oxygen. If you do cardiovascular exercise regularly you might lower your blood pressure and decrease your overall heart rate, putting less pressure on your most important organ.  Sounds like it could be worth that 30 minutes a day, huh?

Some cardiovascular exercises that increase your heart rate include interval training, dancing, cross-country running, skating, running, swimming, jumping rope, cycling, and skiing, as well as other aerobic classes. You also can get certain classes that combine a low intensity of cardio exercises with strength and flexibility, such as Pilates and Powerflow Yoga (My personal favorite for a good yoga DVD to get that heart rate up is Yogalosophy). Here is a closer look at three popular choices:

If you are starting out with your exercise regime, walking would be the ideal starting point. Keep in mind that you have to walk at a steady to moderate pace in order to reap the full benefits and get that heart racing. If you engage in walking as an exercise you will have to either do it for longer periods at a time or make it a daily exercise. Opt for 30 to 50 minutes of walking per day, and make sure to pick up the pace if you are not breaking a sweat.

One of the most popular forms of cardiovascular exercises is running and jogging. During this exercise you will increase your heart rate while maintaining a steady and constant pace. The intensity of the exercise might differ depending on the distance you choose to run and the gradient of the treadmill or angle of the hill you are conquering. Running will have the greatest benefit on your overall aerobic fitness levels if you run at least three times a week for anything between 25-60 minutes at a time.

Kickboxing is a high-intensity workout that will get your heart pumping. This aerobic exercise is a combination of interval training, resistance training, strength training and just plain old cardio. Think along the lines of running on the spot, doing jumping jacks, upper cuts, knee lifts—you name it. This is an ideal full-body workout to do once or twice a week.

What is your go-to workout when it comes to getting your heart rate up?