Did you know that February is American Heart Month?
Each February, NHLBI and The Heart Truth® celebrate American Heart Month by motivating Americans to adopt healthy lifestyles to prevent heart disease. Focusing on your heart health has never been more important. People with poor cardiovascular health have an increased risk of contracting severe illnesses and more recently, are also at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Heart-healthy living involves understanding your risk, making healthy choices, and taking steps to reduce your chances of getting heart disease. Heart diseases can cause heart attacks, but by taking preventive measures, you can lower your risk of developing heart disease and also improve your overall health and well-being.
Choosing heart-healthy foods, managing stress, and maintaining a healthy weight are all good for keeping your heart healthy and happy. A healthy diet and an active exercise routine are both very important lifestyle factors that will improve your heart health. Heart-healthy eating involves choosing certain foods, such as fruits and vegetables, while limiting others, such as saturated and trans fats and added sugars. Don't eat processed junk, eat real, whole foods and try to avoid sugar as much as possible.
We know regular exercise strengthens muscles, but it also helps the heart do a better job of pumping blood throughout the body. Getting your cardio in on a regular basis helps your heart by lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow, lowers cholesterol, and ultimately decreases your risk of heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. Ultimately, keeping your heart happy and healthy!
- Taking your dog for a walk
- Going for a daily walk in the park
- Doing laundry or chores around your house (anything that includes movement)
Here are a few aerobic exercises to incorporate with your resistance training:
The key is to find what you enjoy so you can sustain it for the long run! Not just a season, but for all phases of your life. If you enjoy walking your dog, great! This could be a great supplement to your lifting routine. Do you like using the rower? Great! Add it to your routine! Dislike the stairmaster? Avoid it... it's that simple. Many people utilize our cardio cinema to help motivate them to get some cardio in! Watching a movie and working out simultaneously is a great way to take your mind off your daily routine and enjoy your workout with friends and family. Remember, cardio is important for general health, but shouldn’t be abused or feel like a chore.
Some overall tips:
- Find an approach for long term sustainability
- Find what cardio activity YOU like to do
- Just MOVE more - take the stairs, park further from the entrance of a building, find a walking buddy...
- Try everything
- Make sure you have a good playlist that will keep you motivated
- Grab a BUDDY who can push you
- Make it a lifestyle!
Keep moving and your heart will be HAPPY! ❤️