February is American Heart Month!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States. Anyone at any age can be at risk for heart disease but there are steps that you can take to improve your health and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Celebrate with Raleigh Parks by taking time to show your heart some love! Show your support on Friday, February 5th by wearing red for women’s heart health on Wear Red Day. Follow the tips below to improve your overall health and lessen your risk for heart disease.
Improve Your Physical Health
- The American Heart Association advocates walking for at least 30 minutes 4 to 5 times a week to improve your health. Break up the time in 10-minute increments throughout the day before work, at lunch, or after work to accomplish this daily goal. Get started by finding the best trail in your community.
- Need another moderate to high-intensity workout? Try this One-Minute Push-Up Challenge to get your heart pumping!
- The American Heart Association suggests getting at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, throughout the week. Try this cardio freestyle workout as your aerobic activity for this week!
- Compared with walking, exercises done in a pool is joint-friendly, good for your heart, and allows you to meet your fitness goals. Take the plunge by attending one of several Water-based exercise classes by visiting a nearby Raleigh Parks Aquatics Center.
Improve Your Mental Health
- According to the American Heart Association, practicing yoga regularly helps many people experience increased energy and lower stress levels. Try this two-minute Gentle Yoga activity to improve your overall heart health.
- Need to find a quiet outdoor space to relax, meditate and unwind? Check out our Park Locator for a park near you.
- Did you know that Tai Chi involves specific postures and movements combined with mental focus, breathing techniques, and meditation? Here’s an example of a Tai Chi exercise for beginners. Try this and similar activities to improve your mental health. (Source: American Heart Association)
- Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean dieting or giving up all the foods you love. Check out the American Heart Association’s tips to choosing healthier food options.
- Heading out to one of our Greenway Trails for some exercise? Be sure to drink plenty of water, especially during the winter months. Check out these facts from the American Heart Association about staying hydrated to improve your overall heart health.