Healthy Heart Numbers Exercise

by David on September 1, 2014

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Choosing the Best Exercise for Your Heart

David walking on a track on cruise ship

David walking on a track on cruise ship

One of the very best things I have done to have a healthy heart is to start a regular exercise program.  I walk in the mornings as well as do a ten minute Pilates or even a simple stretching routine to have a stronger core.

After having suffered a heart attack and having heart attack symptoms, I have found those exercises work great for me and there is no discomfort.

So what is the best heart healthy exercise?

It is the exercise you do…Yes, you actually have to get moving.

For years, people have focused on aerobic activity to improve heart health.  And while it’s true that this type of exercise specifically targets the heart, it’s also true that the heart can be affected by the total health of your entire body.  That means that you need to target all areas of fitness in order to keep your heart running at its optimum.

There are three major types of exercise you need to incorporate into your fitness routine in order to get total body health.  Let’s start with the most obvious – cardiovascular exercise.

Cardiovascular exercise includes aerobic activity that keeps the heart rate up for at least ten minutes at a time.  This builds endurance. Activities such as jogging, walking, bicycling, and swimming fall into this category.

All of these exercises help you by increasing your heart rate and strengthening the heart muscles and blood vessels.  They also help your lungs to work more efficiently.  It’s recommended that people participate in at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity every day.

In my particular case, I have a walking route that takes me just about 30 minutes and is about 1.4 miles in length.

photo-4-e1405871338680-300x225Part of my walk is uphill and part is downhill.  I have found I look forward to my walk through the neighborhood every day.  Some folks will go to the local school track to walk and some communities have walking trails.   However, I’ve seen plenty of folks running or just walking down city streets to get their exercise.

As is the case with many other folks, getting started was the hard part.  I have probably gone several months now without missing a day.

Resistance training, which builds strength, is next.  These are exercises that focus on strengthening your muscles.  When your muscles are strong, you have fewer problems with pain and injury.  You also have more muscle tissue, which burns at a higher metabolic rate and helps to keep you lean.

Exercises like sit ups, push-ups and weight training are strength building.  It’s recommended that you participate in this type of activity two to three times a week. This type of exercise can be stressful for the heart if you overexert yourself.

The final type of exercise is simple stretching.  I stretch my arms and legs plenty and it helps to improve your flexibility.  This helps you to prevent injury, but it also helps you to reduce your physical stress levels.

These simple stretching exercises really help to improve your heart health as well.  You can do this by stretching or participating in yoga.  You should participate in some type of flexibility exercises at least two to three times a week, and daily is even better.

Keeping your total body healthy will help to keep your heart healthy.  While some exercises specifically target the heart, other exercises support the heart by taking care of the health of your whole body.

Again, before you start any exercise program, you need to make sure that you’re healthy enough to participate in it.  Make sure to check with your doctor.

User's guide front pageAnd of course, use the Healthy Heart Numbers app (iPhone, Google Play) to track your vital numbers.

Remember:  A journey of a thousand miles began with a single step

Lao-tzu (c 604-c 531 bc), founder of Taoism.



Walking for a healthy heart

by David on January 23, 2014

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Walking is aerobic exercise

There are so many benefits to walking it is hard to list them all.  And if you are a heart attack survivor or if you have related cardio issues, walking is an exercise you can do.  Here are 7 good points about walking.

Walking is very good for healthy heart numbers.  A good walking program can help increase blood flow, decrease bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.

1.  I have the perfect place to walk.  Not everyone does, but I have seen more people Heartwalking in very many different places so not having the perfect place is not an excuse.  Find a way.  Find a place, and then work your way up to walking for a healthy heart.  There is a book out that advocates taking 10,000 steps per day.  The good news is–you don’t have to take all those steps at one time.  Get a good pedometer, check your steps, and work your way up to those 10,000 steps.  Benefits of walking include fitness by getting your heart rate up some without too much strain, increased circulation, increased blood flow through your body and extremities, increasing the lung’s ability to take in oxygen, helps reduce body fat, and improves your healthy heart numbers….especially your cholesterol levels.  

And now my dog now insists that we take our daily walk.

2.  Start slowly at first.  Increase your speed some in the middle and toward the end have a cool down period.  I can guarantee you will feel better after a walk.  Many of us have knee problems, knee and hip replacements, foot and other joint problems.  Some days are better than others, but a walk can get you in a better frame of mind in a hurry.  Get started now.

3.  Use a pedometer to count your steps.  Some are fancy and link to your phone.  Some Hearttrack your route and calculate your distance and calories burned.  I recommend starting with something simple and expanding to your level of comfort with technology.  Some of my friends are tech wizards and some don’t even want a smartphone.  All of that is up to you.  I am in the middle the tech part of walking and will be getting a linked device as soon as I can figure out which one I want.  It just makes my walking more interesting.  My dog does not care about the tech toys used in walking at all.

4.  30 minutes a day.  Try for at lease 30 minutes of walking a day.  I try to walk a little more than that now, but I’ve had to work up to it.  I also did not set any speed records when I first started a regular walking regimin.  30 minutes a day is an excellent goal to try for in walking for exercise and health.  Your heart is a muscle and muscles need exercise.  You are doing yourself a world of good by simply walking.  A more efficient heart means a more efficient pump and that is what you are needing.

5.  Walking feels good.  No kidding.  Take a walking break instead of a coffee break or snack break.  I use my daily walk as a time for brainstorming with myself.  I also use it to stop my brain from going 100 miles per hour and turn it into a relaxing time for both me and my dog.  Yes, there really is a big world to observe.  There are also organized fitness walks in most major metro areas.  While most of my life was spent in a rural areas, It does not take long to get to the city anymore and participate with like-minded individuals.

6.  After you commit to a walking program….get a great pair of shoes.  I thought I had Heartsome when I first started, but they nearly trashed my feet….and they were a name brand!  Now I have shoes with a harder sole, but a really cushioned footbed.  These shoes are a real pleasure to walk in and not torture like before.  I bought two pair because I liked them so much.  (L.L. Bean #258499).  There are plenty of choices available from a variety of vendors….take your pick.

7.  Finally….go out and walk down the driveway.  The next day walk past the driveway to the corner.  The next day, walk past the driveway, past the corner to the next block.  The next day, go down the driveway, to the corner, past the next block on around the block back to the driveway……You get the picture.

Just do it….and do it….and do it….and do it….and do it….and do it…and do it…and do it, and do it some more.

Just go do it.  Get healthy. Get walking.  Just do it.



Here is a Starting Place…

January 5, 2012

Start here for a healthy heart lifestyle Here is some amazing Healthy Heart Numbers news! In some of my explanations in the Guide to Healthy Heart Numbers, I say that the App is a “starting point” to good health.  That is because in any self improvement plan, you really need to know where you currently […]

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