A lot of us start the new year by thinking about building up our muscles. Maybe we want to be stronger, look better, or be generally healthier. The question is, which muscles should you focus on?

The good news is, there’s one muscle you can focus on to get all of those benefits: your heart. Sometimes we forget that the heart is a muscle, but it is. And like all muscles, it needs to be exercised. In fact, failing to exercise your heart can more than double your chances of getting heart disease. So how do you exercise something that’s buried in your chest? By putting your whole body to work. Here are some simple ways to pump up your heart.

Walk: Yep. It’s that easy. Get out and walk. Pick up the pace and you increase the benefit.

Lift: Weight training doesn’t have to mean hoisting big weights. It can be as easy as doing push-ups, squats and pull-ups. Or, sure: Hit the gym for even greater benefit.

Swim: Swimming delivers a great full-body and highly aerobic workout. And who doesn’t enjoy a dip in the pool?

Bend and Stretch: Yoga delivers countless benefits, including a stronger heart.

Train with Intervals: Quickly switching from high-intensity to low intensity activities is a great way to get a big benefit in a short time.

Bike: Cycling gets the heart pumping by involving some of your body’s biggest muscles.

With all of these options, you should be able to find one you enjoy – or mix them up. Whatever you do, if you get in about two-and-a-half hours of exercise a week, you’ll do wonders for your heart.

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