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Celebrate Heart Month with these 4 Exercises

Get that heart pumping! February is stroke and heart awareness month so let’s get moving!

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According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines, exercise should consist of four parts; cardiovascular exercise, resistance exercise, flexibility exercise, and neuromuscular exercise.

#1 Cardiovascular exercise is any exercise that raises your heart rate. 

  • Perform at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week
    • 30-60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 5 times per week OR
    • 20-60 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise 3 times per weekimgres
  • Complete in one continuous time frame or multiple shorter bouts of at least 10 min at a time
  • Progress time, frequency, and intensity should be gradually

Try starting with a walking program!  Grab those sneakers and a pal and hit the park!  Too snowy?  Head to the mall before it opens to log some miles.  A pedometer can help keep you accountable!

#2 Resistance exercise is any exercise that forces your skeletal muscles (not heart) to work. 

  • Train major muscle groups 2-3 days per weekleg-lifts
  • Perform 2-4 sets of each exercise with….
    • 8-12 reps to increase strength and power
    • 10-15 reps to increase strength in middle age and older individuals
    • 15-20 reps to increase muscular endurance
  • Wait 48 hours between strength sessions

There’s plenty you can do at home to start!  Grab two water bottles as weights to do arm exercises, and use a chair to squat and work on those glutes!

#3 Flexibility exercise is movement that improves range of motion of your joints that allow them to move freely.

  • Perform flexibilty exercises 2-3 days per week
  • Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds, repeated 2-4 times to accumulate 60 seconds

Grab a yoga strap, stretch out strap, dog leash, or towel and let’s start stretching!

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#4 Neuromuscular exercise is sometimes called functional fitness and includes balance, agility, coordination, and gait (walking). yoga

  • Perform these exercises 2-3 days per week for 20-30 minutes per day

Make sure when you start working on balance, you stay near a counter, wall or chair so you have support if you need it!

Ok, so here’s your comprehensive plan to keep that heart healthy and strong

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