Its Valentine’s Day this Saturday, and this month we want to appeal to our readers to get their hearts pumping - for one important reason in particular.
February is the month to beat heart disease, an illness that currently kills one in four people, and more woman than all of the cancers combined. On February 6th, the nation showed their support by wearing red and hosting events across the country to help raise money for life-saving research.
One third of deaths due to heart disease are preventable if we follow the right diet and exercise plans. Take a look below at 8 top tips to stay healthy, lead an active lifestyle and get your heart pumping this month.
Many people struggle to gain the motivation to exercise, but there are plenty of ways to conquer it. There are many less strenuous exercises you can do to get your heart in good shape, for example, just walking briskly for 30 minutes a day can really help.
- Make it fun
Fitness should be an enjoyable experience, so it’s important to make it fun. You don’t need to join a gym to keep fit, you can make exercise into a social event. Get together with a group of friends and go walking regularly, or go for a group run. There’s a lot to be said for safety in numbers and you may find your friends provide the extra motivation you need.
- Take things slowly
You should aim to train for around 30 minutes per day, for 3 times a week to start off with. Your body can probably cope with more than this, but it’s important to let your heart get used to the current exercise regime before you think about increasing the frequency and length of sessions.
- Eat healthy
Around 1 in 3 children in the UK are currently overweight, which is naturally speeding up health problems. In recent years, it has become more important than ever to eat healthily, so why not start by making some small changes to your diet. Increase your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables and eat plenty of lean meat, whilst cutting down on foods that are high in sugar and fat is a sensible idea.
- Ride a bike
Riding a bike is one of the easiest ways to stay fit. If possible, try to cycle to work rather than drive, or go out for regular bikes rides at the weekends. Cycling is a sport that the whole family can participate in together, so if you have small children you can encourage them to cycle with you.
- Get a dog
If you have always considered having a dog, why not take the plunge. Regularly walking your dog is one way to stay active healthy, and more importantly, your dog will help you to increase your pace.
- Reduce stress levels
Stress can have an effect on your heart, so it’s important to keep tabs on your stress levels and develop healthy habits to ease your stress when necessary. Stress doesn’t always come from unhappy events, it can come from life changes such as a new marriage or a new job. The key is to manage stress properly as unhealthy responses to stress could lead to health problems.
- Take regular breaks
One of the best ways to relieve stress is to take breaks from the daily grind. If you lead a particularly stressful lifestyle, it is more important than ever to make sure you take time out regularly to wind down. Booking a holiday can provide you with an incentive to work towards whilst the break will give your body the chance it needs to really relax and unwind.
I’m interested in your thoughts on this, so feel to leave a comment at the bottom of this blog page.
And don’t forget, we have a Valentine’s Day Promotion on at the moment, giving you 30% off selected brands - exclusively for our newsletter subscribers!