Heart-healthy exercises you can do at home or at work

Your heart is a muscle, and it gets stronger and healthier if you lead an active life.  It's never too late to start exercising, and you don't have to be an athlete.  Even taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day can make a big difference.

The American Heart Association and Federal Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend adult women get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (or an equivalent combination) per week and perform muscle strengthening activities at least two days per week. For more information please visit: goredforwomen.org.

Viet Le and Becca Ballantyne of Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute joined us with a few exercises that can improve your heart health.  The Heart Institute recommends your workout should include aerobic exercise "cardio": running, jobbing and biking are some examples.  Stretching: you'll become more flexible if you do this a couple times a week.  Stretch after you've warmed up or finished exercising.  Stretch gently - it shouldn't hurt. Strength training: you can use weights, resistance bands, or your own body weight (yoga for instance).  Do it 2-3 times a week.  Let your muscles recover for a day between sessions.

Viet Le and Becca demonstrated three heart healthy exercises:

Lunges:This helps strengthen leg muscles and works large muscle groups which also increases calorie expenditure

Planks:This exercise provides static exercise for the upper body working those large muscle groups (shoulder/arms) and the abdominal/back muscle also known core muscles). This improves postural muscles and general upper body strength.

Pushups– This exercise is a dynamic motion of the upper body that also provides
strengthening through a range of motion in the shoulder, elbow, and wrist joints while also providing conditioning for the core muscle groups of the abdomen and back.

There are free statewide classes to learn about your risk and ways to become more healthy at Intermountain Healthcare.  Go to: IntermountainHealthcare.org/LoveYourHeart to find a class near you.

Don't forget the Go Red for Women Luncheon is coming up on Friday, March 8 at the Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek.  To find out more visit utahgoredluncheon.heart.org.

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