Exercise for Heart Health!

Continuing on our “Heart Health” journey for the Month of February,  I want to chat with you in this week’s blog about exercise!   You probably know that “exercise is good for you” and “good for your heart.”  So, I’m not going to focus on the benefits of exercise or try and convince you that you SHOULD exercise  (that can be saved for another blog).  Today I want to  encourage you to get active in some way for some amount of time– everyday!  Sounds simple but I know it can be a real pain to get off the couch, or get up early to do some sort of exercise.

I am going to try and make this really easy for you.  Here are some of my favorite “tight on time” fat-burning exercises that you can do at home, with or without equipment and in a short amount of time.  This week’s challenge is to do some activity everyday.  Can you do it?  Are you up for the challenge?   If you are already exercising on a regular basis, great job and I want to encourage you to continue and move forward with your good health habits!

Without equipment:

  • Push-ups – these are one of my favorites.  Push-ups work your chest, back, core and are an excellent way to rev your metabolism for the day.  Start with seeing how many you can do in a row and try and do a few more each week.  You can do them on your knees or toes.  Check out online videos to learn proper form
  • Squats – another great exercise that utilizes your “fat-burning” muscles in your legs, quads, hamstrings and glutes.  If you do squats correctly you will not hurt your knees.  But, keep in mind if you already have knee pain or issues, squats may not be appropriate for you.  When doing a squat, make sure your knees stay behind your toes.  You should be able to lift your toes when in a squat position.  Try doing 20 of them every morning and if that’s easy, do more.
  • Jumping Jacks – these are really great for increasing your heart rate, burning some calories and energizing your body and brain.  Try doing them barefoot on carpet, your feet are loaded with muscles and doing some light exercises barefoot helps strengthen your feet!  Do 25 jumping jacks, rest for a few seconds and repeat the cycle (mini interval training).
  • Chair Dips – while watching your morning news, scoot to the edge of a chair or couch and work your triceps with a few sets of chair dips.  You will feel the burn in a hurry because your triceps are smaller muscles.  Do sets of 10-15 until you feel some fatigue in the back of your arm.  Hello, sculpted arms!
  • Stretch – start your day and end your day with stretching and with some stretching in between!
  • WALK – walk more often, move more, fidget more, just move your muscles in some way throughout the day.

 

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Maria Hicks

Health Solutions Coordinator