Easy Ways to Get Active During Heart Health Month
Heart Health Month is underway and February provides a good time to focus on cardiovascular health. The simple reason is that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in United States, and plenty of steps can be made to limit the risks.
Life Fitness is committed to getting people active, and activity and exercise are big factors in preventing heart disease.
According to the Heart Foundation, physical inactivity can contribute to the risk of coronary heart disease. The group recommends moderate aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes, five days a week, or vigorous workouts of at least 20 minutes, three times a week.
Staying active requires commitment, but it’s easy once you make a habit out of it. If you’re not getting enough exercise, try a few of these tips to become someone who is active and heart healthy. (Note: Check with your doctor first before starting any new exercise routines.)
Train for a 5K
Fun runs abound in the spring, and now is the time to train for them. You don’t have to put in a world-class time. If it’s your first race, just focus on finishing. Start training by walking for 30 minutes a day and move to an easy jog when you feel up to it. With consistent activity you should be ready for a 3.1-mile jog in a few weeks. And, the fun atmosphere on race day will likely make you want to run again.
Join a Group Exercise Class
Some people need encouragement from others to help spur them along. Group classes are made for every type of exerciser, from newbie to big-time athlete. Find one that suits your needs at a fitness center near you. Working out with a community of others can be a big motivating factor.
Block off Time Each Day for Exercise
Busy schedules prevent many of us from getting some quality exercise time in. Start adding time on your calendar solely devoted to physical activity. It only takes 30 minutes each day to make a difference.
Find an Exercise Partner
There’s strength in numbers. Asking a friend or spouse to be part of your exercise routine can turn a workout into a social event. And, having an exercise partner holds you accountable. You won’t skip a workout if someone else is counting on you to do it with them.
Mix Things Up
If you feel comfortable working out on a cross-trainer, it’s totally fine if that’s your go-to piece of cardio equipment. But consider varying your cardio routine every week. Cross-train, ride a bike, put in miles on the treadmill—changing things up keeps workouts interesting and can make them more effective.
Missing a Day or Two is OK
You aren’t an Olympian, so it’s just fine to miss out on exercise from time to time. The important thing is that you remember to come back to the active life.