Having good cardiovascular health means more than just a healthy BMI and diet, though those go a long way. It also means being active and getting your heart pumping through exercise. One of the easiest ways to incorporate more activity into your life is by adding more steps to your day.
To help your heart health in 2014, invest in a good, accurate pedometer. Start by tracking how many steps you take each day. After that, set a goal of increasing your number of steps per day by 500 until you reach a goal of 10,000 steps a day. For the average person, this would mean walking about five miles and burning around 500 calories each day.
While it’s great if you can fit the extra steps into a normal routine, for most people it will take a dedicated 30 minutes to an hour of walking each day to hit 10,000 steps. This is an added bonus as during dedicated walking time you can move faster, raising your heart rate higher and getting a better cardiovascular workout.
Walking has a wide range of benefits. It improves your heart health, your joint and muscle health, helps you lose weight and even improves your mood, especially during cloudy winter months. Go walking with friends and family to strengthen your relationships or with your dog to help them stay healthy. You could also listen to audiobooks to improve your mind and body at the same time.
Adding more steps into your day is a simple resolution to improve your health year-round. If you have questions about exercise, how to incorporate it into your day or about your heart health, please talk to your primary care physician.
About Dr. Alband – Wendy Alband, MD, received her medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine. She completed her internal medicine internship at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth located in Portsmouth, Va., and finished her internal medicine residency at Eastern Virginia Medical School located in Norfolk, Va. Dr. Alband is board certified in internal medicine. Dr. Alband spent four years as a General Medical Officer in the U.S. Navy. Additionally, Dr. Alband worked as a staff physician at a community urgent care clinic. She is a member of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Alband is fluent in Spanish and Tagalog.