Although genetics certainly play a role in the development of heart disease, exercise is an easy way to help decrease your risk. And now that it is officially February, American Heart Month, why don’t you get started with a regimen for healthy physical activity?
It’s a new year, and you have thought about losing weight and joining a gym for quite some time now. And whether it has been the cold weather, or your hectic work and home life, something has gotten in the way. However, regular physical activity has been well-established and effective way to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, while also increasing your good cholesterol, or HDL.
Find a way to do something a little extra for just 10 minutes a day: a walk after work, parking your car a bit further in the parking lot, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. After 10 minutes, slowly start to build up to 12, then 15, then 20 and before you know it, you will be up to the recommended 30 minutes of activity a day!
Join a gym and take a group class a few times a week. As you start to notice the pounds melting away, you will only be motivated to exercise even more! Decreasing your weight also decreases the demands on your heart, resulting in improved blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes control. A small caveat for those who already have heart disease: be sure to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program and modify your exercise according to what is safe for you!