February is heart health month. So, let us take care of your heart and make it the strongest and healthiest it can be!
Physiologically, the heart is a muscle. Its job is to pump life’s blood which contains all necessary nutrients, through our bodies to feed our working organs, tissues and muscles. Pretty important stuff, so we will spend some time this month looking at how to keep this function of our heart as healthy as possible.
But I also want to look at other very important aspects of our being, our life and our self-care that we tend to associate with the heart. Therefore, for the purposes of this and connected posts we will attribute these functions to our heart centre. I am going to call it our emotional heart.
So let’s take very good care of our physical heart and emotional heart. We can do this with a good, heart focused self-care plan. It’s quite simple. We need to:
- Work it (exercise)
- Nourish it (nutrition, heart healthy foods)
- Love it (Do things that feed our spirit and emotional well being)
- Celebrate it by living life BIG
Health Canada recommends:
- 60 minutes of activity daily
- Strength training 2-3 times per week
- Flexibility Training 4-7 times per week
I like their recommendations, but I like to put things into a format that people understand well and one that doesn’t allow them to say: “I don’t have 60 minutes!” Time is the biggest reason people give me not exercising. But you and I both know you have 10 minutes. In fact you have 10 minutes twice daily. You can either do something for 10 minutes twice daily or do it once for 20.
Elisabeth / Core Expectations recommends:
- 10 minutes (minimum) of activity done twice daily, or 20 minutes straight, 5 days per week. Here are some examples
- brisk walking, catching some hills or stairs and elevating your heart rate
- body weight exercises like squats, lunges, push ups, step ups, planks etc etc
- Any variety of cardio activities like cycling, swimming, hiking, jogging
- And so much more….
- Find someone to do the above with and you will find you might be willing to do it longer…
- Stretch almost every day (because we both know you aren’t going to do it every day)
- Do your core work 3-4 times per week in addition to your 10 minutes.
So get moving and work the most important muscle in your body; your magnificent heart. And as a bonus, all the other muscles in your body will get a workout as well.