Spring into an Active Lifestyle

 

With Spring, comes a breath of fresh air. The birds are chirping, the flowers are growing, and Mother Nature is at her kindest.

 

If you are one of the millions of Americans living with a heart condition, you may feel that it is more difficult for you to enjoy this time of year simply because staying active can seem challenging. However, there are so many ways to get connected with Mother Nature, have fun, and be active at the same time; this article will show you how.

 

Being outside in the fresh air and allowing yourself to get a little bit of sunlight confer numerous benefits, including helping you get a natural dose of Vitamin D and helping your body increase its level of the mood-boosting brain chemical called serotonin. 

 

When it comes to improving heart health, there are many activities that you can do outside to keep your heart healthy. It is true that people with heart conditions need regular physical activity...just like everyone else. By making sure that you are incorporating physical activities into your daily life, you can help keep your heart strong. Adding activities such as a daily walk, yard and garden work, and low-impact recreation are just a few ways you can get healthier while having fun. When making a decision to start any type of a physical activity program, always discuss it with your cardiologist or primary care doctor first to make sure it is the best choice for you and your health.

 

"When making a decision to start any type of a physical activity program, always discuss it with your cardiologist or primary care doctor first to make sure it is the best choice for you and your health."

 

Spring also brings along holidays that gather family and friends together. Days such as St. Patrick's day and Easter give you the opportunity to go outside and enjoy the fresh air. With St. Patrick's day, you can attend a St. Paddy's Day parade or go on a leisurely stroll with friends before relaxing with a picnic at the park. Other activities such as decorating your home or cooking a heart-healthy St. Paddy's day meal can also be enjoyable ways to stay active. 

 

 

With Easter comes with the fun of spending time with family, attending church services, and taking part in Easter egg hunts with the little ones. You may help the children find eggs or help decorate them before the hunt. These ideas are just a few ways to incorporate more physical activity into the holidays, so that you can continue down the path to better health. Remember, when it comes to the health benefits of physical activity, every little bit counts!  

 

"When it comes to the health benefits of physical activity, every little bit counts. "

 

When selecting what activity to do, safety always comes first. In addition to getting the green light from your physician, when partaking in any physical activity, always pay attention to how you feel, being aware of your limitations.

 

Here are some things to keep in mind to help you exercise safely:

  1. Check with your doctor first about what level of exercise is right for you.

  2. Exercise within comfortable limits. Avoid physical activity if you feel unwell, tired, or sore from previous activity.

  3. Start doing the activity gradually and at a low intensity. For example, start with a gentle walk around the house or garden, or along flat pavements. Build up gradually to walking further distances or at a faster pace. 

  4. Slow down or stop if you feel short of breath, lightheaded, or have any chest pain. You should be able to talk normally while you’re doing the activity, without feeling short of breath. 

  5. If you use nitroglycerin, always carry it with you when you do the activity. 

  6. Take a mobile phone with you while you’re out exercising, especially if you plan to be alone. That way, if you feel unwell, you can call someone.

  7. Always spend time to warm up and cool down

  8. Opt for indoor activities (such as walking at a mall) when the weather is very hot or very cold

 

Other useful tips to keep in mind:

  • Start small.

  • Be realistic about your goals.

  • Make exercise a part of your daily regimen.

  • Don't be discouraged, no matter how little you think you are doing.

  • Get friends and family involved to make it more enjoyable.

  • Add variety and try different things to see what you like.

  • Set encouraging reminders and put them where you can see them.

  • Track your progress, no matter how small.

  • Reward yourself!

 

By taking measures to stay active daily, your heart, body, and mind will thank you.

 

Let's be encouraged to push on toward better health and wellness!

 

 

 

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Sources:

 

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/CardiacRehab/Getting-Physically-Active_UCM_307097_Article.jsp#.Wqvgx2rwbcs

 

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000094.htm

 

https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart/living-with-heart-disease/being-active-when-you-have-a-heart-condition

 

https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/preventing-heart-disease/staying-active

 

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