What causes heart disease? Most of us know that a sedentary lifestyle and an abundance of fat-rich foods is bad news for our hearts. However, staying away from these bad habits is easier said than done, especially around the holidays. Decadent food like butter-laden cookies and high calorie nightcaps are all around, and winter weather surely isn’t kind to joggers.
Despite these less-than-ideal circumstances, staying fit over the holidays is both possible and necessary! You’ll feel better for it, and staying active is a great way to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Even just an hour a week of vigorous exercise or two and a half hours of moderate activity can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by as much as 30%!
Here are some tips to stay active this winter:
- Take the stairs: This is a great way to be active without having to brave the arctic chill outside. If you work in an office building, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Just doing a few flights several times a day can make a big difference!
- Gift a friend—and yourself!—a fitness class: Working out is easier and more fun with a little support. For the holidays, sign yourself and a friend up for a workout class. Whether its spin, yoga, or a dance fitness class, you might find an exercise you love! Plus, you’ll be committing to at least a weekly workout, and it could set the stage for embracing regular exercise.
- TV Fitness: It may be tempting to just curl up in front of the TV when it’s cold out, but you can use this time for exercise as well! Do squats, push-ups, or crunches during commercials or callisthenic exercises to elevate your heart rate. Doing this every night while watching TV can really help! Also, you can swap just one show a week for a half-hour or hour long workout video and be on your way to meeting your weekly activity goal!
- Gift ideas: Pack your wish list this year with requests for things like a gym membership, free weights, a yoga mat, or new exercise clothes. Getting new gear can inspire you to use it and stay in shape!
- Set a smart phone reminder: Skip “penciling in” time for the gym and put that reminder straight into your phone. Setting aside time for just one or two exercise sessions a week can help keep fitness top of mind.
The holidays sure are fun, but your waistline and more importantly your heart health can take a hit with all that indoor celebrating. Use these tips to make this winter a fit one, and help reduce your risk for heart disease.
How to Use This Information:
To learn more about improving your cardiovascular health through exercise, schedule an appointment with South Denver Cardiology today to discuss your heart health. To schedule an appointment, call us at 303-744-1065, or visit our website here.