Prescription: Walk for Heart Health | Health Eagle

Prescription: Walk for Heart Health

by Jessica B. February 17th, 2023 | Exercise
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I know you have probably heard it before, but one of the easiest ways you can boost heart health, starting right now, is by adding a little bit more movement to your every day routine.

It doesn’t have to be a run or a bike ride. I’m talking about opening your front door and taking a short walk down to the end of the street and back again. It might take you five minutes. It might take you ten. But really, opening that door and taking that first step is the direction you need to start focusing on your heart and improved health.

How can you stay motivated to keep walking – day in and day out? Think of it as a prescription. (Or a way to avoid needing medical devices, such a blood pressure monitor or glucose sensor.)  Just like you remember to take your daily medications or your daily multi-vitamin, you need to take your daily walk.

1) Set a fixed time for your walk – every morning at 8 am or every evening at 7 pm. This way you get used to it, and you consider it part of your daily routine.

2) Load your mp3 player with podcasts or audiobooks from auidible.com. I find if I am listening to a great book or radio show, I will usually take a longer walk than if I am just out on my own; however, make sure to be careful about your surroundings. It can be a lot harder to hear cars and traffic with headphones in your ears.

3) Make sure you have a pair of comfy shoes, and if it is icy, try a pair of yak tracks. Even if you aren’t going far, good shoes are important for foot health and are necessary if you will be walking on a regular basis.

4) Leave your excuses at the door – you don’t owe this to anyone but yourself. You are either out there walking or you aren’t. If you find yourself constantly saying “Oh, I can’t today because I have so much work to do, I’ll do it tomorrow,” remember the only person you are letting down is you. And what is 10 minutes going to cut into? The work will be there when you get back.

What benefits will you see when you add a little walking to your routine?

1) Increased energy – you will be amazed how much energy you have when you get back to your house after even just a quick stroll down the street. A little fresh air, even in the cold, and a little movement can give you quite a jolt.

2) Increased heart health – By walking thirty minutes a day, you can reduce your chances of having a heart attack by 30-40%. I know we are only talking about 10 minutes here, but this is just the beginning. Ten minutes today can be twenty minutes next month and thirty down the road.

And even if you never make it to 30, 10 minutes is certainly better for your heart than 0.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.