Along with a healthy diet, regular supplementation and proper sleep, regular exercise is key to a healthy heart. A sedentary lifestyle has been shown to be just as harmful to the health of our hearts as smoking; it can lead to a lack of sufficient blood flow to the heart and throughout the body and can cause inflammation and obesity- a big risk factor for heart disease.
Exercising encourages the entire body to move, which in turn increases oxygen to the brain and vital organs, improving blood flow and circulation, and has been shown to promote an overall healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise has been shown to be linked to increased metabolism, improved sleep, reduced stress and healthier eating habits.
Here are some easy ways you can start adding some extra movement into your daily routine. Which one of these helpful hints will you try today? Let us know in the comments below, or join the conversation on Facebook.
- Grab a colleague, friend or pet, and take a 10-minute walk at lunch. Studies have shown long term and increased and improved fitness is associated with a 19% reduction in heart disease and stroke.
- Run your errands on foot. Leave your car at home and walk to and from the grocery store, bus or train station, or wherever your plans take you. If you can't leave the car at home, take it to a point that allows you to make at least 30 minutes of the trip on foot.
- Sitting all day constricts your circulation, slows your metabolism, and puts you at risk for heart disease. Stand every chance you get: on transit, while on the phone, even in meetings and while watching TV at night.
- Don't use your favourite TV shows as an excuse to be inactive. Watch as much TV as you like, but take each commercial break as a chance to sneak in a few sets of sit-ups or even some jumping jacks.
- Try a new activity, whether it's yoga, Pilates or joining a group exercise class. Take a look at what fitness classes are offered in your area, and sign up for a trial session.
- Desk jobs have been shown to have a negative impact on our heath. While at work, make some time for some regular 'deskercises'. This will help keep you moving instead of staying stationary. On your feet all day? Use this as an opportunity to squeeze in tiny squats throughout the day. Sometimes the littlest things make a big difference!
- Practice good posture. Sitting up straight provides your body with more circulation and can free up your breathing. It puts less pressure on your muscles so you can have more energy to tackle your weekly exercise routine.
- Set your alarm! Waking up a few minutes earlier will allow for some extra time to exercise, whether at home with a YouTube workout, or by hitting the gym. Not only does this give the mind a boost to start the day, it’s 20 minutes of activity in the books.