10 February 2016

We have all heard the line ‘exercise is good for your heart’.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, we are focusing on how to look after your heart in the physical sense…

Most of us think of cardio exercises such as cycling, running on the treadmill, rowing and group exercise classes as being really good for your heart.

After all, ‘cardio’ and ‘CV’ are short for ‘cardiovascular’ so named because it uses the cardiorespiratory system, which consists of your heart, lungs and blood vessels, which work together to supply oxygen and nutrients to all of your vital organs.

But did you know that cardio isn’t the only exercise that helps to keep your heart healthy? Weight training or resistance machines and even Body Pump (LES MILLS) are all really good for your heart too, as they can help your most important muscle in the body – your heart – pump more efficiently to help keep you healthy.

How fit are you?

Here’s a fun test for you to measure your cardiovascular endurance – the most important aspect of fitness*:

1. Stand with your feet a hip-width distance apart
2. Squat down
3. Jump up and land on the balls of your feet
4. Repeat




How many can you do in one minute?

60 or more = great
40-59 = good
20-39 = average
<19 = you need to build up your cardio fitness level…

At YMCA St Paul’s Group our well-equipped gyms at YMCA Wimbledon, Surbiton, Hawker (Kingston) and Hampton Pool are open to everyone and offer flexible membership packages and pay-as-you-go options. We run a range of group exercise classes at each centre as well as at YMCA White House (Hampton). Or, you could take the plunge and swim to your heart’s content year-round at Hampton Pool.

For further information, read more on our website, or pop in to one of our centres and speak to an instructor.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


*Please ensure that you have a reasonable level of fitness to take this exercise