With February being Heart Month, we want to give you some easy activities to improve heart health even during the global pandemic. '
Making and sticking to an exercise routine can be difficult, especially if your routine was participating in exercise classes or going to the gym. Adding a healthy activity to your day can make a massive impact in your life. Exercise can help reduce your risk of heart disease. .
Simple and Safe Physical Activities
Going for a walk is one of the easiest at home exercises you can do during a pandemic. The best thing about walking is that it can be done within social distance guidelines. Staying 6 feet apart and walking with your spouse or another person in your 'safe bubble' is a great physical activity and stress reliever. Walking helps us not only benefit our physical fitness but also gives us a change of scenery. We understand many have had to stay home and not go about life as usual. Getting out and going for a walk around your neighborhood can have many benefits to your health, both mentally and physically. Take your dog more often; activity is good for them also! Walking daily provides health benefits like:
• Helping to maintain a healthy weight
• Prevent heart disease and other terminal illnesses
• Improve your mood
• Improve your balance and coordination
Starting a new hobby that can increase your physical activity can also be an option to improving your heart. Spring is just around the corner so the Time to start planning is now. Never started a garden before? No problem! The benefits of gardening are more than just getting some physical activity. Growing and eating healthy organic produce can also provide positive health benefits.
To get the most out of your new-found green thumb, pick herbs and vegetables you and your family will enjoy. Tomatoes and fresh herbs are two easy things for beginners to grow. Gardening is an activity every family member can participate. . This is also a great activity to get family members involved in.
Participating in outdoor sports is another great physical activity to boost your health and your mood. Some sports and activities require no special skill and little to no equipment. Making it a perfect activity to do at home. There are many outdoor sports you can still participate in at public parks like tennis or basketball. Many public golf courses are still open throughout the pandemic offering locals the ability to play safely and adhering to social distance guidelines. Below are some easy heart-healthy sports activities
• Using tag or hide and seek -not just for kids
• Playing frisbee-all ages and even pets
• Playing hopscotch in the driveway
• Build a soccer goal and play with the family
If the weather is not ideal, call or FaceTime a family member or friend to 'walk together' in the house using any of the blog's activities. Stairs in your home (caution with any knee issues) can be a great cardio booster to the heart.
One of the most straightforward heart-healthy at home activities with the greatest physical health benefits would be bodyweight exercises. ' 'There's nothing much easier than using your own mass to exercise, tone, and lose weight. Simple body weight exercises or for those more adventurous yoga, pilates, and martial arts are also options to increase your cardio. pumping. Below are a few easy exercises using your body to workout at home:
• High Knees or Kicks: Stand and lift your legs in a high 'march' 10 times, repeating 2-3 times with a rest in between or stand and 'kick' your legs in front of you alternating 20 times and repeating sets of these
• Squats: Start by standing, and then drop the buttocks and bend the knees into a sitting position. Some people challenge themselves by holding a medicine ball. If you have knee pain, try sitting against a wall and holding for 10 seconds, then 20, then 30 seconds, and work up to repeating this sequence 2-3 times.
• Pushups are good for upper body strength and core. . If you 'don't have the strength to do a traditional pushup, start on your knees and gradually gain strength to do traditional pushups.
• Planks are very similar to pushups but work your core. Lie on your stomach, then push up onto the forearms with the elbows bent. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat. Work up to longer periods of holding yourself up in this position. Maintain proper body position by keeping your back and buttocks flat and even
• Lunges increase muscle mass to build up strength and tone your body. Especially your core, buttocks, and legs. First, take a long step forward with one leg and bend both knees, ensuring that the front knee does not extend past the toes. Repeat for the other side. If you want a real challenge, try doing lunges backward. If you have knee or hip issues, stand and alternate kicking your heels to your buttocks 20 times and repeating this sequence 2-3 times.
Working from Home and Increasing Activity More Often
For many people, staying at home could lead to a massive decrease in physical activity-even steps to different meetings or outings. Our daily routine and lives have drastically changed.. 'Don't worry, we have some easy activities to keep your heart healthy. Sitting too much can increase higher risks of heart disease. Try some of these things to increase your blood flow::
• Get up at least once an hour and walk, jog or if you want to really change it up, try skipping around the house! Have a simple list of chores you can work in for variety and remember to -fill up your cup of water to stay hydrated
• Turn up the music to your fav song and dance off your heart!
• Invest in a standing desk for your home office. Standing burns more calories than sitting and helps get the blood flow going, improving your mood and productivity.
• If your work involves conference calls where you don't have to be on video, walk around the house during those calls, maybe even working in a few activities previously mentioned. Your family members might tease you, but you are getting valuable activity in that you might be missing out on as long as you don't breathe heavily during the call!
• Raise your arms to the ceiling 20 times-stretch and hold on the last one. Find a simple pull-up bar to use in a seldom-used doorway. Pull-ups are a great way to add strength and improve your cardio.
At Indianapolis Rehab Hospital we understand these unprecedented times can be difficult. Staying active can be extremely beneficial to your heart health, with additional benefits to improved sleeping, which also provides overall health benefits. We care about your well being. Here's to your heart!