February: Tips for Building Healthy Hearts
You may not think of it this way, but your heart is a muscle and can be trained just like any other muscle. And, like other muscles, it works better and more efficiently if it is exercised and trained on a regular basis. As with any new exercise program, getting advice from a trained, registered physiotherapist is a great first step.
Your physiotherapist can work with you to create an exercise program that is tailored just for you.
Physiotherapists Therèse Lord (retired) and Allison Ezzat (West Vancouver Aquatic Centre Physiotherapy) log dozens of kilometers walking and running each week to ensure a healthy heart.
Healthy Heart Tips to prevent injury, alleviate pain and keep you moving for life.
Even a small amount of movement makes a difference.
- A total of 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day, three or four times a week can make a big difference to your heart plus, it will make you feel great. Your physiotherapist will help you build your physical capacity for your chosen activity.
Exercise for your heart can be fun.
- Aerobic activities like walking, cycling or swimming are all excellent ways to exercise your heart. If you are more motivated to workout with others, consider joining a walking group or an exercise class.
Don't let a chronic condition prevent you from getting started.
- If you suffer from arthritis, osteoporosis, asthma, or another chronic condition, you can still exercise your heart. Your physiotherapist can modify or adapt exercise to make it safe for you.
A history of heart attack or heart surgery should not prevent you from beginning a therapeutic exercise program.
- After a heart attack or surgery, it’s important to rebuild your tolerance for exercise and strengthen your heart. Your physiotherapist can create a therapeutic exercise program that is right for you and your heart.
BC physiotherapists are the most physically active healthcare professionals in Canada and the ones physicians recommend most. To contact a physiotherapist for an assessment to develop a healthy heart exercise program specifically for you, visit www.movingforlife.ca. Go to the Physio-4 Calendar to see other tips from other months and activies.