How Much Activity will Help Your Heart? You Might be Surprised

February is American Heart Month, and it’s a good time to review how you can take better care of the heart that takes care of you 24/7, 365 days a year! The sobering truth is that heart disease is common and deadly. According to the CDC, every year well over 600,000 Americans die from heart disease. Heart disease has many causes, including both genetic and lifestyle factors, such as: diet, tobacco use, and physical activity. So how can you help keep your heart healthy? Do you have to commit to hours and hours of exercise? Turns out your heart may thank you with modest changes.

Heart-Healthy Improvements:

Kick Tobacco: Tobacco in any form isn’t good for your health. Smoking can have a direct impact on your heart, and even smokeless tobacco can affect blood vessels, blood pressure, and other cardiac factors. Talk with your healthcare provider about quitting and the best way to make changes stick.

Eat a Heart Healthy Diet: Eating a highly-processed diet can affect your heart. Try to limit packaged food, white bread, and sugar, and focus instead on fruit, veggies, and lean meats including fish. Make small changes and stick with it to see improvement!

Add Activity: So how much do you need to exercise for your heart to see a benefit? The great news is that increasing your activity even a small amount can offer positive benefits. If you’re already very active, keep it up. If you aren’t active yet, you can start small and build on that.

Exercise is something that most of us could use more of. A recent study indicated there might not be a ceiling when it came to activity: the more the better – your heart could continue to benefit from high-level exercise! The study concluded that the more active people were, the less risk they had of developing heart disease.

Think about your day: are you mostly sedentary or do you find yourself walking up and downstairs, walking the dog, and then adding in focused exercise? Many of us have jobs that require long periods of inactivity: do you make up for that in other parts of your day/week? Consider where you can increase activity and add in planned exercise. The great news is you don’t have to go crazy with exercise to reduce your risk of heart disease: increasing your personal level of activity will likely help your heart health!

*As always, before beginning an exercise regimen, please consult your healthcare provider to ensure you’re healthy enough for physical activity.

If you’re ready to improve your heart – and overall – health, Body One PT is here to help you reach your goals. As you work at being more active, we’re ready to help improve strength, flexibility, and movement, and address any nagging issues or injuries that pop up. Our team of caring expert Physical Therapists works with patients of all ages and activity levels, and we’d love to help you become more active and healthy this year. Don’t wait to call in the Best PT Team in Indy, call or click today!