Walk Your Way To Better Heart Health
April 1 has been declared National Walking Day by the American Heart Association (AHA) and what better way to get on the path to better heart health than by walking? The AHA recommends 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week for optimal heart health. An easy way to remember this is 30 minutes of activity, 5 days a week. This can even be achieved by dividing the activity into 10-15 minute segments throughout the day.
Walking is the simplest positive change you can make to improve your heart health. When done consistently, walking can:
- reduce blood pressure
- reduce risk of stroke
- reduce blood sugar levels
- help to lower weight
Just get moving!
Everything counts when trying to incorporate more physical activity into your life. At home, do your own housework and gardening and walk to the store if you can. At work, have a walking meeting with your coworker, stand while making phone calls or take a quick stroll during your lunch break. For leisure, meet up with friends for physical activities instead of meals or drinks and plan vacations that include being active. Even adding simple tasks to your day, such as taking the stairs or parking further away from a building entrance add up.
Getting started is half the battle…sticking with it is the other half. Here are some tips for exercise success:
- Dress comfortably and appropriately
- Make physical activity part of your daily routine
- Set reasonable goals, starting slow and taking breaks when necessary
- Make physical activity fun
- Stretch to prevent injuries
- Reward yourself after achieving goals with a massage, shopping trip, movie, etc.
Let’s all get moving starting with National Walking Day on April 1 and walk our way to better heart health.