Just putting one foot in front of the other can mean big steps forward for your heart.
The easiest way to reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke is to get moving and walking is a great place to start. It boosts health and energy and easily fits into your lifestyle. Walking benefits your heart, and lungs, and improves fitness, muscle tone, strength and balance. Plus, it reduces pollution by decreasing car trips, improves sleep, relieves stress and helps combat depression.
Pretty impressive for an activity that comes so naturally. To make it really work for you, work 30 minutes of light- to moderate-effort walking into your daily routine and you will lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. It doesn’t even have to be non-stop – three 10-minute walks will do the trick too.
If you’re short on time, remember that any physical activity is better than none. The more active you are, the greater the health benefits. And you’ll reap the rewards of more energy to help you cope better with your busy schedule.
Lace up and get walking!
Here are some ideas for increasing the steps you take every day:
- Park your car further away from your destination.
- Walk your children to school.
- Walk your dog (or a neighbour’s dog).
- Take a walk with a friend or co-worker at lunch.
- Take the stairs.
- Start or join a walking club.
- Wear your pedometer even when you are doing housework or gardening at home.
Note: Before starting any physical activity routine, please check with your healthcare provider first to discuss what is right for you.
- Heart disease and stroke are leading causes of death and hospitalization in Canada.
- An estimated 1.6 million Canadians currently live with heart disease of the effects of a stroke.
- Up to 80 per cent of premature heart disease and stroke could be prevented by healthier lifestyles.