Take some extra time to take care of your heart this month. Your heart is one of the most important organs in the body, responsible for pushing blood and oxygen through the body, and caring for it should be a growing responsibility, especially as we age. Here are a few steps of taking care of your heart that can turn into everyday habits.
If you work at a desk and aren’t able to get yourself up and moving then try using a step counter to motivate you. Apps or fitness watches have step counters as well as heart rate monitors that will alert you if you need to get up and walk around. An evening or morning walk is a great way to get yourself out of your seat, especially if it's with someone or a pet.
Water consumption is important for your brain, gut, skin, and mood, but we often forget that it helps our heart work 24/7. Since the heart is constantly working, pumping about 2,000 gallons of blood a day, keeping it hydrated constantly can help your heart do its job.
Get a Good Night's Rest
Sleep is vital for the brain and all other organs, including the heart. A good sleep regimen can keep your risk of cardiovascular disease low and keep your heart healthy for longer. Too little sleep can cause problems with your blood pressure and inflammation as well as putting you at higher risks of diseases that can shorten life expectancy.
Getting yourself moving is just the first step in getting your heart in better shape. Try interval training to get your heart rate up while also burning calories and fat for 24 hours after the workout. We use MYZONE heart rate monitors at our gym to keep track of heart rate during our challenges and most spin classes. Learn more about MYZONE and monitoring your heart rate here. Here are a few ways that interval training can keep your heart rate up and healthy:
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) - HIIT requires short spouts of work, 80-90% effort, with rest periods in between. 45 seconds on and 15 second rest is a popular HIIT cadence. But if you’re a beginner, you can lower the work to rest ratio so you have longer rest breaks. Find a HIIT workout here.
Tabata Training – Perform 20 seconds of work with 90% effort then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat for eight cycles. Follow along to one of our tabata workouts here.
Do any of these forms of interval training only 2-3 times a week for a major difference in your heart health.
Try adopting all of these methods that are proven to improve your heart health. A great way to improve heart health is to get your heart pumping, easy to get done in one of our 45-minute MYZONE spin classes every Monday through Thursday at 9:15am or ask us about our heart rate based MYZONE workouts or monitors.