Thursday, February 13, 2014

Celebrate Your Heart This Valentine’s Day

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Are you ready to exercise?
I have heart-healthy tips for you!

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.  Does the love of your life make your heart beat a little faster and your body temperature rise? So does exercise!

By exercising for as little as 30 minutes a day, you can reduce your risk of heart disease by 30% - 40% and your risk of having a stroke by 25%.  Medical research even shows that for every hour of walking, you may increase your life expectancy by two hours!

In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are some heart-healthy exercise tips from the American Heart Association’s website:

Make the time!
  • Start slowly. Gradually build up to at least 30 minutes of activity on most or all days of the week or whatever your doctor recommends). 
  • Exercise at the same time of day so it becomes a regular part of your lifestyle. For example, you might walk every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from noon to 12:30pm.
  • Find a convenient time and place to do activities. Try to make it a habit, but be flexible. If you miss an exercise opportunity, work activity into your day another way.
Keep reasonable expectations of yourself.
  • If you've been sedentary for a long time, are overweight, have a high risk of coronary heart disease or some other chronic health problem, see your doctor for a medical evaluation before beginning a physical activity program.
  • Look for chances to be more active during the day. Walk the mall before shopping, take the stairs instead of the escalator or take 10–15 minute breaks while watching TV or sitting for walking or some other activity.
Make it fun!
  • Choose activities that are fun, not exhausting. Add variety. Develop a repertoire of several activities that you can enjoy. That way, exercise will never seem boring or routine.
  • Ask family and friends to join you.  You'll be more likely to stick with it if you have company. Join an exercise group or health club.
  • Use variety to keep your interest up. Walk one day, swim the next, then go for a bike ride on the weekend.
  • Use music to keep you entertained.
Track and celebrate your success!
  • Note your activities on a calendar or in a logbook. Write down the distance or length of time of your activity and how you feel after each session.
  • Keep a record of your activities. Reward yourself at special milestones. Nothing motivates like success!
  • Visit the American Heart Association’s website - - to find all the resources you need to get moving and stay motivated.

Valentine’s Day comes just once a year, but your heart needs daily attention.  Celebrate tomorrow by beginning a heart-healthy exercise regimen – not only for your health, but also for the sake of your loved ones.

Visit to learn how Fitness for Health can help you create a heart-healthy and fun, exercise program to reach your personal goals.

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