Heart Healthy Activities
The heart pumps oxygen-filled blood to every part of your body. Sometimes arteries narrow or get clogged and the heart has to work harder to get blood through them. Regular exercise reduces high blood pressure, stress levels, anxiety, and cholesterol, which can cause heart disease. You should add physical activity to your daily routine to keep your heart healthy.
You won’t exercise regularly unless you have fun doing it. Choose activities you enjoy. Ride a bike, go bowling, dance, join a church basketball team or a community softball league. Teach your children to play badminton or volleyball. Start swimming or walking regularly. When you get into the habit of doing these activities, increase the amount of time you spend doing them. If you like “alone” activities, buy equipment for your home or use what you have on hand, such as stairs and a jump rope. If you like group activities or need someone to keep you going, join a health club, walk in the mall, take an aerobics class, or exercise with a partner.
Add extra steps to your everyday routines. Walk instead of drive, and if you have to drive, park farther away so you take more steps to get where you’re going. Climb stairs instead of taking elevators and escalators. Do housework vigorously. Dance while you dust, do squats while you garden, break into a run occasionally.
Wear red to help others become aware of the American Heart Association’s suggestions for changes in lifestyle that can prevent heart disease. Volunteer to help American Heart Association campaigns by sending letters to your neighbors asking for donations. Join organizations that promote heart health with group walks, runs, and dances.