Heart Healthy Valentine’s Gift

Heart Healthy Valentine's Gift

This Valentine’s Day, what better gift can you give yourself than a healthy heart? You don’t need to go all out. If the thought of exercise makes you groan, there are lots of activities that will help your heart. The goal is to get your heart rate up 30 minutes a day, but you don’t have to do it all at once.

Here are eight tips for becoming active and getting your heart into shape.

Walk, Don’t Drive.  Walk instead of jumping in the car. If you were to walk to the grocery store instead of making all of those trips for one or two items, you’d be well on your way to meeting your goal. If you live somewhere it’s not possible to drive, park as far away from the door as you can.

Take the stairs.  Don’t take the elevator or escalator. If you can’t make it up more than one flight, you could always walk up one flight of stairs and take the escalator/elevator the rest of the way.

Get a dog, or start walking your dog.  Dogs need exercise too, and it’s one of the best ways to become active. Once your dog gets used to his daily walk, you won’t be able to put it off or forget. He’ll remind you! If you can’t have a dog where you live, consider volunteering at the local humane society. Most really appreciate a dog walker, and you’ll be doing a great thing for a lonely animal.

At the Office.  If you work in an office building, be sure to get up often during the day.  Get up every hour and walk around the building. If possible, spend at least half of your lunch break walking. You’ll feel a lot more alert in the afternoon in addition to getting some physical activity into your day.

Housework.  Work some exercise into housecleaning. Do some squats while you’re vacuuming or just put a little extra effort into what you’re doing to get your heart going. Gardening can be good exercise too.

Have Fun.  Do you think of flying a kite or throwing a Frisbee as exercise? These kinds of activities can be a lot more fun than running on a treadmill or forcing yourself to do aerobics, and you can actually get a good cardio workout while you have fun at the same time.

If you already work out at least three days a week, or even every day, consider using some of these options to add to your routine and increase your endurance and cardiovascular health.

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