A Nike Master trainer reveals the best workout for your heart

Rethink your fitness goals and focus on routines that work the inside out.


Real talk: when it comes to training (or gaining, shredding, flexing, whatever) the goal is often surface-motivated. Let’s admit it. We’d like toned arms so we do tricep dips, or flatter abs so we work in more crunches. Of course, there are a host of internal benefits that come with any exercise, so of course it’s all worthwhile, but have you ever considered doing a workout that’ll boost things from the inside out? Flor Beckmann, a Nike Master Trainer, shares with us which kind of exercise will help you achieve optimum cardiovascular health, and which foods you should eat to complement all that heart-work (see what we did there?!) you’ll be doing.

RELATED: Eight elite trainers share how they recover after a long run

The one thing you can do every day to boost your cardiovascular strength is…

“Any endurance workout [this could be running, swimming or cycling] as these work the aerobic system and can boost the heart’s health. If you’re over the same old, try an endurance workout from the Nike+ Training Club App, otherwise a run will definitely do!”

The foods you should eat to boost your heart health are…

“Anything high in omega 3, such as salmon, tuna and trout. They’re not only good for the heart, but are natural mood-boosters, too.”

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The one exercise you cannot skip is…

“Planks, they are the queen exercise for core stability. Remember that the perfect plank looks like person is standing. With a nice flat back, push the floor with forearms, squeeze the glutes, tighten the quads and deep abdominals. Hold this pose for about 30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.”

The best endurance-boosting food?

“One of my favourites is quinoa. It is easy to make, full of protein and carbohydrates and has all of the nine essential amino acids. It’s also delicious and extremely filling, so eat this baby for breakfast, lunch or dinner and you will hopefully feel more energetic throughout your runs.”

A surprising thing people don’t realise will help them become a better runner is…

“It’s not just running that will improve your running ability, if that makes sense. Strength training will give you more stamina and can reduce the risk of injury, especially training in the frontal plane or transverse plane. Other drills that complement running include a cross back lunge and a side lunge.”

The best way to recover after a long run is…

“Electrolyte hydration. My favourite is water with pink Himalayan salt and lemon. Stretch all major muscle groups for about 30 seconds each. Then, eat a meal of 4 to 1 carbs to protein.”

The best training advice I ever received was…

“Warm up properly! A proper warm up includes foam rolling all major muscle groups, static and dynamic stretching and a series of plyo and locomotion drills.”

How I stay motivated

“I share my goals with people. The last thing I want to do is let anyone down. I have also found that with sharing my goals, I am able to inspire people in my journey, which motivates me even more.”

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fitness | body+soul