Keep on the move

14 Mar 2018
POSTED BY Y Magazine

Engaging in physical activity is one of the best ways to bring down your heart attack risk. And there are many, easy options to do it

When news of the death of famed Indian actress Sridevi broke, Asians across the world were in shock. It wasn’t just about the untimely death of the actress that caused ripples but the initial prognosis that sent shivers down everyone’s spine.

Initial reports stated that the actress had suffered a “severe” cardiac arrest – and that she had died in the span of a few minutes. Of course, the autopsy – which revealed that she had drowned to death – went on to refute all such rumours.

Still, the period of uncertainty when the whole world was made to believe that she had suffered a cardiac arrest shed light on the long forsaken concept of heart health.

What’s worrying is that a growing number of residents of Oman, both Omanis and expats, are under threat from this instant killer, as is shown by a ballooning number of heart-related diseases reported in hospitals.

However, there are many ways for you to lower your risk for heart disease, and one of the most important is by becoming physically active. Self-help can definitely be a great start to aid in keeping your heart healthy.

National guidelines recommend at least 2 hours, 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week for adults, like brisk walking where your blood gets pumping and you are a little breathless.

If you find yourself short of time, you can incorporate physical activity in small chunks, such as three 10-minute intervals per day, and still achieve some heart health benefits.

How moving more helps

When done regularly, physical activity can give your entire body – not just your heart – a boost. Getting your heart rate up and breaking a
sweat can:

  •  Strengthen heart muscles
  •  Improve blood flow
  •  Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Help control weight

Ways to become more active every day

In addition to working toward at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week, it’s important to avoid being sedentary, when possible.
You can do that by making choices that build activity in your day. Some examples include:

  •  Taking the stairs
  •  Printing at the printer farthest from your desk at work.
  •  Getting off the bus one stop early
  •  Parking in the farthest space from the door
  •  Walking around while you are on the phone or having
    walking meetings
  •  Being active with your children, including playing outdoors
  • Planning a vacation that includes physical activities
  •  Playing basketball or taking a yoga class with friends instead of meeting up for drinks or a meal
  •  Putting on some music and dancing

Check with your doctor

Certain physical activities are safe for most people. However, if you have a chronic health condition such as heart disease, arthritis or diabetes, talk with your doctor about the type and amount of physical activity that is right for your health.

Incorporating regular physical activity into your life can help your health in many ways, but it can be especially helpful for your heart.

Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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