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February is American Heart Month!

February is American Heart Month!

February is American Heart Month! Taking great care of your heart (and the rest of your body) begins in the kitchen. Smart strategies to protect your heart health while cooking include avoiding saturated and trans-fats, including omega rich fats instead. To learn some quick tips, check out 25 Heart Healthy Cooking Tips from Eat Right (www.eatright.org) that you can try today!

Check out more information on keeping your heart healthy below.

Heart Healthy Exercise

Often CCH Health Coaches are asked what exercise is the best and although the answer varies somewhat based on needs and wants, it always comes back to getting your heart pumping. Every day our hearts beat over 100,000 times. You would think that would be enough in and of itself, but your heart needs to be challenged to thrive.

To keep your heart in tip-top shape (along with the rest of your body) a blend of strength, cardio and stretching is recommended. All activity can help to reduce blood pressure, improve cholesterol and burn extra calories. Specific kinds of activity are better for accomplishing different goals, such as:

  • Aerobic Exercise helps the body to use insulin better, makes your heart and bones strong, improves circulation and reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure, blood sugar and improving cholesterol.
  • Strength Training makes the body more sensitive to insulin and can lower blood glucose. It also helps to build strong muscles and bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. And the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even when you're resting!
  • Stretching is the final piece in the fitness puzzle as gentle stretching can reduce pain and risk of injury, improves circulation and can even reduce stress.

At least 30 minutes of daily activity is recommended, five times a week. Any combination of activity will help you to improve the function of your heart! If you have specific goals, the majority of your effort should be geared to that goal. For example, if you would like to increase your strength, you should focus on lifting weights and cardio could include walking hills, rather than a flat road.

PS: For more information about intensity, be sure to read Measuring Exercise Intensity.

Work It!

This heart healthy circuit will help you to tone your body, including the largest muscle group (your glutes) while increasing your cardio and core strength. Do this circuit anywhere, home, hotel—no weights needed! Begin by doing 1-2 rounds of each exercise for 1 minute of work with 1 minute of rest between each exercise. Eventually work up to 5 rounds with 60 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest between each exercise, for a grand total of about 42 minutes.

CCH Wellness Butts and Guts workoutlabs

Have Questions?

Campbell County Health Wellness works to reduce health risks and promote overall wellness among employee groups and individuals across the northeastern Wyoming region. To learn more about Wellness, please visit www.cchwyo.org/Wellness or call 307-688-8051.

This blog was written by Rachel Wilde, CPT, MA, CCH Wellness Services Technician and Phlebotomist