It may seem hard to get going when it comes to getting active, but all you have to do is take a step. That’s right, we are talking walking. Going for a walk doesn’t require a membership to a fitness center; it is free and easy. By walking for 30 minutes or more a day, your heart will reap numerous benefits.
Walking isn’t your only physical activity option. If you enjoy swimming, riding a bike, rollerblading or any other type of physical activity, all will benefit your heart. Feel like you’re always on the go? Here are some tips to get you moving at work, home or having fun:
- At work. Because many of us sit all day at our jobs, it may seem tough to find ways to incorporate activity into the day. Do you have an upcoming project with a coworker? Go for a walk together while brainstorming ideas. Stand at your desk while on the telephone in place of sitting. If you’re traveling for work, walk around the airport while waiting to catch your flight.
- At home. It can be most convenient to get your workout in at home, and by combining it with other tasks, you’ll be able to knock two things out at once. If you are watching TV, don’t lie down on the couch, sit up or stretch. Are you headed to the grocery store? Weather permitting, park in the back of the lot and walk the extra distance. Instead of using a riding lawn mower, mow the lawn with a push mower.
- Having fun. If you’re looking for activities for you and your family to do that let you be active together, there are plenty of options. You can go sightseeing or plan an outing that includes physical activities, like hiking or swimming. If you enjoy a certain sport, join a recreational league that plays on a regular basis.
Take Time and Chill Out For Your Heart
This is an important piece of heart health advice from a cardiologist. Nowadays, it can be hard to unwind from certain stressors like finances, work or personal issues. However, when we are under stress, our bodies increase our adrenaline and potentially overwork the heart. Restore your calm by using these stress-taming tips:
- Laugh more
- Connect with friends or family
- Get creative
- Write down your feelings
- Get some sleep
- Practice yoga
If you have tried to relieve your stress with tips like these and you find that your stressors are still challenging, seek help. Professional therapists or counselors can help identify the source of stress and teach coping mechanisms to better handle it.
Shutdown – It’s Doctor’s Orders
Your cardiologist would likely recommend that you take time and “shutdown.” If you’re experiencing stress, it may be hard to turn your brain off and because of this, your sleep suffers. Sleep affects mood, energy levels and overall functioning. Create a bedtime routine, which can include listening to soothing music, putting away your cell phone or computer for an hour and maintaining a consistent schedule.
Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet
One of the biggest pieces of heart health advice a person may receive from a cardiologist pertains to eating a heart-healthy diet. Although you may be consuming plenty of food, is that food providing your body with the nutrients it needs to be healthy?