At Montagu we are all about living a healthier lifestyle and with September being Heart Awareness Month we thought it would be great to share some tips on how to improve your heart health and include exercise in your daily life.
Since September brings such lovely spring weather, why not commit to starting a healthy new habit like walking?
EXERCISING FOR YOUR HEART HEALTH
Like any other muscle in your body, your heart needs physical activity to help make it stronger. Physical activity can help reduce your risk of heart and circulatory disease.
But that’s not the only benefit. Regular physical activity can increase your life expectancy, help shed those extra kilograms, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol and improve your mental and heart health – helping you to look and feel great!
Who doesn’t want that?
HOW MUCH EXERCISE DO I NEED?
All you need is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week in order for your health to benefit from it. The more you move the more benefits there are. Most importantly, heart health.
Adults should aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, which can be spread over the week, however you like. That’s like 30 minutes, five days per week. Alternatively you can do 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. So you can really get your heart pumping and sweat glands working for only 25 minutes, three days per week.
Remember to include muscle-strengthening activity at least two or more days per week for additional health benefits.
WHICH TYPES OF EXERCISE WORK BEST?
Any type of physical activity is good for you. The point is that you should move your body, which increases the amount of energy (kilojoules) your body uses.
Walking, dancing, gardening, cycling, swimming, team sports such as soccer or rugby, and other similar activities, including your daily household chores, are just some examples of simple but effective physical activity. These can all contribute to your wellbeing and general fitness.
TIPS TO GET MORE ACTIVE
Doing some physical activity is better than doing nothing at all!
- Find a friend or family member to exercise with, and choose activities you find fun, and try listening to music while you exercise.
- Start slowly and set realistic goals that you can work towards.
- Walk to visit a friend instead of phoning them – this saves money too.
- Walk with your child to school or to the shop. This way you get to spend more quality time with them too.
- Get off the bus, taxi or train one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way.
- Walk instead of taking a taxi – this also saves money.
- Take the stairs instead of the lift.
- If you use a car, park further away from the entrance to the shopping mall.
- Over the weekend, walk around the block, along the beach, or in your local park or botanical garden for pleasure and relaxation.
- Take opportunities to stand more. E.g. when speaking on the phone.
- Play with your children or grandchildren.
- Adopt a dog and take it for regular walks.
- Take a lunch break at work and go for a short walk.
- Get moving to your favourite music.
- Join a dancing group.
- Take up a new hobby or sport, such as a regular ball game with friends, or hiking, swimming or fishing.