One of the simplest ways to cheer up our hearts is to take them out for a walk.
Did you know that for every hour of regular exercise you do, you’ll gain about two more hours of life, even if you don’t start until middle age!
Isn’t that amazing?
Because our hearts are made up of muscle, they need regular exercise to keep fit and healthy. When we are physically active, our heart muscle has to work harder to pump the blood around our bodies and deliver oxygen to our moving muscles. It is through this extra work that our hearts get stronger.
Just as the muscles in our legs grow lean, strong and more defined when we jog or walk regularly, so it is with our hearts. And when our heart muscle gets stronger from these regular outings, it performs better – it doesn’t need to beat so fast, to work so hard, to strain – just to do its job.
A heart that has been left lolling about on the sofa all day grows sluggish and fatty and struggles to get up the road, which is why we pant and get out of breath so easily. When the heart muscle becomes unfit, it labours just to get to the bus stop. Oh, our poor hearts!
But with regular exercise, magical things start to happen.
Our hearts begin to push more blood out with each beat, so can slow down. This keeps our blood pressure under control. Blood flow in the small vessels around our hearts improves, so they clog up less, which reduces our risk of heart attacks. Exercise literally flushes the artery-clogging LDL (aka bad cholesterol) out of our systems. So with improvements to our blood pressure, pulse rates and cholesterol profiles – all of which are associated with better heart health – it seems crazy not to take our daily exercise dose, doesn’t it?
Did you know?
Doing just 30 minutes of moderate activity a day can help reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 50%.
*Moderate activity = vigorous enough to raise your heart rate, but still able to hold a conversation.*
Being at a healthy weight is, of course, another key component to a happy heart. So, if you have joined Unislim and are eating well, you’ve already given your heart a very precious gift, a gift that will see it beat for longer.
Our Feed Yourself Fit plan, free for members, will see you reach your optimum weight and stay there, while continuing to enjoy all your favourite foods. And because our meals are nutritious and mouth-wateringly tasty, they suit the whole family, encouraging good eating habits and fantastic heart health for our partners and kids too.
One of the great benefits of losing weight is relieving the heart of the added strain of carrying all that extra baggage around. And it works both ways, doesn’t it? Because the exercise that makes your heart strong also burns up calories, helping you to shed the weight that’s putting a strain on your heart! Who would have thought that there were so many hearty benefits to a regular 30 minute walk?
And it doesn’t have to be walking. Any exercise will do.
Take your pick, but don’t waste another second talking yourself out of it, or trying to find the ‘right’ exercise, when an ideal option – walking – is waiting just outside your front door. And who knows – before long, that walk might turn into a jog, and your heart will be singing for joy.
For optimum heart health, a combination of cardio, stretching and strength training is required – all of which you’ll get from going for a walk or jog or swim and doing our exclusive Unislim at-home workout, included in our Lets Get Moving booklet, which recently launched in classes. This booklet will help get your heart into tip top condition. It will inspire you into taking action, with countless suggestions, advice and motivating tips to breathe more life into your heart. So this week, give it some sugar! Not literally, but show your heart some love, some genuine affection by dosing up on the daily exercise vitamin only you can administer.
This week, make a ‘happy heart’ your priority. And, remember, nothing makes a heart happier than exercise.
Grit Doctor Tip
Your daily 30 minute dose of activity can be broken down into two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute sessions.
Share your favourite happy heart exercises with us on Unislim Clubs today!