Sooner or later, many of us receive a heart-related diagnosis. This can actually be a positive development, because it motivates us to take a fresh look at our lifestyle.
Heart disease diagnoses
Affecting 28.2 million Americans and the leading causing of death in the U.S., “heart disease” is a term used broadly to cover several different diagnoses. Common diagnoses related to heart disease include:
- Coronary artery disease. The vessels that pump blood to your heart are damaged or weakened.
- High blood pressure, also called hypertension. The force of blood pumping through your body is increased, putting stress on your heart and arteries.
- Congestive heart failure. Your heart is not pumping blood as well as a healthy heart does.
- Arrhythmia. Your heartbeat is abnormal—your heart is beating either slower or faster than than it should be, or the beat is irregular.
What you can do about it
All of these conditions can lead to additional health concerns, including stroke or heart attack. No matter what your heart-related diagnosis, though, there are easy steps you can take to make your heart healthier.
One of the most important things you can do for your heart is to get moving. Like all muscles, your heart should be toned. Activity makes your heart beat faster and work harder. Over time, that makes it stronger and healthier.
How much activity helps the heart?
The American Heart Association recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of exercise in a week. This might sounding daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.
Walking is an easy way to start getting active. No wonder it’s a popular exercise! Anything you can do to sit less and move more helps your heart.
If you’ve just been diagnosed with heart disease, or if your doctor tells you that you have risk factors, you might be advised to start an exercise routine.
Physical therapy can get you started
Making an appointment with a physical therapist can be a great way to get started on a heart-healthy routine. A physical therapist can recommend exercises that are safe and at the right level for you. Your PT will work with you to show you how to do the movements at home and incorporate them into your daily routine.
Don’t forget to also eat a balanced diet to help manage your weight! Healthy habits are the number one way you can take control of your overall wellness and keep your heart beating happily for many years to come.
Get active today! Take the first step, no matter how small.