As we age, maintaining a healthy heart becomes increasingly important. The leading cause of death in America, in those 65 years and older, is cardiovascular disease. While this is an unfortunate fact, luckily there are ways to prevent (and sometimes even reverse) the development of these diseases!
Your heart normally beats 60-100 times per minute and around 115,000 times per day! As your heart beats, it works to pump blood full of oxygen and nutrients throughout your body, which is necessary for your muscles, brain and all other tissues to function properly. So, it’s pretty easy to say that the heart is a vital organ to us humans.
There are several types of heart disease, some of which include, arrhythmias, atherosclerosis and cardiomyopathy. The most common of all, however, is coronary artery disease (CAD), which is caused by a buildup of plaque in your arteries, resulting in decreased blood flow to the heart. If untreated, severe CAD can lead to a heart attack. So what’s important to know in order to be able to prevent development of heart diseases and their complications?
It’s always important to understand the risk factors of developing a disease, and especially understanding which of those factors are within your control. Some of those factors include:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Physical Inactivity*
Of all the risk factors to heart disease, physical inactivity may be the best factor to try and get under control. According to a Harvard Health study, it’s said that those who spend more than 7 hours a day sitting are 33% more likely to pass away from heart disease than those who spend only 3 hours a day sitting. In conclusion, don’t just sit there! Moving consistently throughout your day is so important, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time. The following are some tips to sneak a little extra movement into your day:
- Set a reminder/alarm on your phone to move during times that you tend to sit for prolonged periods
- This includes when you sit to watch TV. Try to get up and walk around at least once every hour
- Don’t always park your car in the closest and most convenient spot. Try a little further away to get some extra steps in!
Movement is just the beginning! It is step one towards deciding to take control of your heart health. In order to go a step further you need to make your movements meaningful! That translates into finding time for true exercise.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity. Aerobic exercise is any activity that increases your heart rate.
Examples of Moderate Intensity aerobic exercises include:
Examples of Vigorous Intensity aerobic exercises include:
- Jumping rope
Performing aerobic exercise as recommended will directly strengthen your heart and reduce risk of developing heart disease.
“Wondering where to begin your journey towards a happier & healthier heart? Seeking advice from a physical therapist would be a great start!”
At ProMet PT, the physical therapists can help you form an individualized plan towards beginning exercise based upon your specific needs. Maybe you have an old injury that you are worried about, or maybe you are concerned about your level of ability to exercise. Regardless of the case, ProMet will get you started ensuring safety, efficiency and of course fun! Call one of our Glendale, Kew Gardens or Manhasset locations today to learn more!