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Develop a consistent workout regimen for a healthier heart

Develop a consistent workout regimen for a healthier heart

Picture this: It’s been three weeks since you have worked out at the gym or have done any sort of cardiovascular conditioning. Perhaps you had a hectic holiday season or are just getting over the flu. You have been discouraged due to the fact that you “fell off the wagon.” AGAIN! (Hey, life happens!)

You finally muster up the motivation to start. After lacing up, you venture out on a jog feeling good…for the first two minutes. By minute five, you question your choices as your lungs begin to burn, despite your good intentions. You increase the music volume in hopes to mask the defeating gasping breaths that remind you just how out of shape you are.

Have you ever felt this way?

February is nationally recognized as American Heart Month. This was created to remind families across the United States how important it is to have a healthy heart. It is no surprise that cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, remains the leading global cause of death with more than 17.9 million deaths each year with an expectancy to rise to 23.6 million by year 2030 (American Heart Association, 2018). More likely than not, we all know someone affected by heart disease and stroke, because nearly 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day. This averages of one death every 38 seconds!

You may be slightly panicking, knowing full well heart disease runs strongly in your family history and well-you aren’t getting any younger. Focusing on factors you CAN control is quite empowering. The good news is that small modifications to your lifestyle implemented habitually over time will improve heart health and lower your risk up to 80 percent, according to the American Heart Association.

Developing a consistent workout regimen is one step you can take toward a healthier heart.

Note: You should consult your physician or another health care professional before starting a fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs. You can find a provider in Campbell County, Wyoming at www.cchwyo.org/findadoc.

How to create a workout routine customized to YOU:

  • Determine how many days minimum you can realistically commit to activity.
  • Experiment to determine your favorite methods of exercise (running/cardio machines, weight lifting, aerobic classes, leisure walking, yoga, hiking, etc.).
  • Determine a realistic duration of activity and exact time that fits with your schedule.
  • Block out your schedule to ensure you attend your workout appointment.
  • Define possible barriers and what your back up plan is.

On the plus side, being more active can help you:

  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Boost your levels of good (HDL) cholesterol
  • Improve blood flow (circulation)
  • Manage a healthy weight
  • Prevent bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis

Whether you are a seasoned athlete wanting to improve your conditioning or a beginner wanting to develop a consistent workout routine, starting is the first step toward a stronger heart and a lowered risk of heart disease.

Kierston Mills, CPT, works at CCH Wellness as a Health Coach. Campbell County Health Wellness works to reduce health risks and promote overall wellness among employee groups and individuals across the northeastern Wyoming region. At Wellness, you can receive daily community blood draws, lab tests, and health and wellness screenings in Gillette, Wyoming from 6-11 am Monday-Friday. To learn more about Wellness, please visit www.cchwyo.org/Wellness or call 307.688.8051.