Tips to Start Your Journey to a Healthy Heart

Physical inactivity is shown to be a risk factor for heart disease. People who do not exercise regularly have twice the risk for heart disease. There are many benefits to having an active lifestyle.

Regular physical activity will:
• Improve the efficiency of your heart and lungs
• Improve your HDL (good) cholesterol and triglycerides
• Lower your blood pressure
• Help you achieve healthier body weight
• Improve your blood sugar
• Improve your muscle tone and bone density
• Increase your stamina and improve your confidence
• Improve your ability to cope with stress and decrease anxiety and depression

There’s no need to run a marathon. In fact, small steps are all you need. Our prevention and rehab clinic offers these following tips for patients that you should adopt today!

Aim to…
• Exercise on most days of the week.
• Always start with a gentle warm-up.
• Start small and set small realistic goals. Work towards 30 minutes of continuous exercise with your heart rate elevated.
• Finish off with a gentle cool down.
• Work towards getting 200 to 400 minutes of aerobic exercise weekly. That’s about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day on most days of the week.

Tips you can use right away!

Here are some helpful tips that can help you get through any type of exercise. Some of these tips are more suitable
for one type of physical activity. Others are good tips to know when you’re exercising.

Pace and Intensity
• You should be able to carry on a conversation while you exercise. This is known as the “talk test.”
• Once you can comfortably walk for 30 minutes, try gradually increasing your speed or arm swing.

Eating
• Wait up to one hour after a meal before you exercise (the larger the meal, the longer the wait time).

Weather
• Avoid exercising in very hot or very cold temperatures.
• If it is very hot and humid, walk during the cooler
part of the day, like in the morning and later at night.
• Look for indoor exercise options such as a gym, a mall walking group, or an indoor track or field.

Posture
• When exercising, it is important that you maintain good posture. Keep your shoulders back and relaxed

Stretching
• After your walks, jogs or runs, stretch your calf muscles.
• Stand straight, close to a solid surface on which you can use your hands for balance.
• Place one leg behind the other, shoulder width apart, with both feet pointing forward.
• Bend the knee that is forward while keeping the back knee straight until you feel a stretch in the back leg.
• Keep both heels on the ground.
• Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.
• Repeat exercise two to three times.

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