February is National Heart Health month. Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women and men in America? Heart disease can often be prevented by making healthy choices. We’ve compiled a list of ways to help promote heart health.
Walking is a great, free workout that can have a big impact on heart health. It’s as simple as walking briskly for 30 minutes a day. You can also break that 30 minutes into 10-minute increments throughout the day. To add more variety to your walk, try these scenic locations:
The St. Louis Zoo (https://www.stlzoo.org/)
Laumeier Sculpture Park (http://www.laumeiersculpturepark.org/)
Botanical Gardens (http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/)
For those days when the weather is an issue why not try an indoor site like the Saint Louis Galleria mall. (https://www.saintlouisgalleria.com/en/directory/)
Do you love the outdoors, nature, and fresh air? Did you know that gardening is considered to be moderate cardiovascular exercise? Here are some tips to get the most from gardening as exercise.
Stretch: Like with most exercises it’s best to stretch first before beginning. Walking for a bit is also good for loosening up the leg muscles.
Try 20 minute intervals, of raking, digging, or planting. Take a break and then another 20 minutes of gardening.
Make sure to wear sun screen and protective clothing to shield you from too much sun exposure.
Swimming is one of the very best cardiovascular workouts available. It is especially therapeutic for people suffering from arthritis or muscle pain. It is a great alternative if high impact workouts are an issue for you. There are many community centers that offer water aerobics classes. This handy site is a good way to find a community center near you:
While meditation is great for relaxing your mind; did you know that it can
affect your cardiovascular health as well? Exercise for your brain is not only good for your spiritual well-being but it’s also a great way to make your heart happy. Research has shown the benefits of lowered stress and heart health. Here are some sites with free guided meditation:
Do Yoga With Me: https://www.doyogawithme.com/yoga-meditation
Tara Brach: https://www.tarabrach.com/guided-meditations/
One of the most effective tools for combating heart disease is a healthy diet. Eating foods
that are healthy can go a long way in preventing heart disease. While it’s important to fill your diet with a large variety of fresh foods; oranges, kale, garlic, sardines, lentils, almonds, and pomegranates are considered the top superfoods. It’s best to buy fresh organic foods. Here are some local grocers that specialize in fresh organic foods
Local Harvest Grocery (http://localharvestgrocery.com/lhg/)
Golden Grocer Natural Foods (http://www.goldengrocer.com/)