The rules: Sit less. Move more.
Sitting seems to have its own health dangers. A study of (standing) trolley car operators versus (sitting) bus drivers found the sitters were twice as likely to die of heart attacks as trolley operators. When sitting, muscle activity drops. The calorie burning rate drops. Levels of enzymes that break down fat in the bloodstream plunge.
That means increasing your level of activity is a great way to help decrease Heart Age. Not only can it strengthen your heart muscle, but it can also help with weight control, which will in turn protect you from issues like high blood pressure and diabetes.
You don’t have to join a gym or work a formal exercise program. What’s important is to get in the habit of moving more – in ways that can become part of your regular routine. Some simple ideas:
- Never park close. Add a little walk between your car and the shop or store.
- Play outdoor games with your kids.
- Stand up and pace when you’re on the phone.
- At home, anytime you see something that belongs somewhere else, walk it over.
- When watching TV, every time there’s a commercial, get up and walk a minute.
- Find fun family activities that get you all moving – bowling, a picnic, a hike, just a walk around the block.
“Stop in the Health Center any time you want to brainstorm about exercise ideas.” NP April McLevain ~ River View
Regular brisk walking can:
• Lower your cholesterol levels and decrease your risks for heart disease
• Strengthen your heart, muscles, and lungs
• Burn calories and reduce body fat
• Help your digestion
• Ease stress
• Pump more oxygen into your brain and improve your memory