States across the country have slowly begun reopening, but many people are continuing to stay indoors for their health and safety, and the health and safety of others. While this may help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, it can be tough on your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. You may have noticed your typical exercise routines have come to a standstill, especially with gyms in many areas remaining closed. As long as you are symptom-free and feeling well, there’s no need to be a couch potato! In honor of World Heart Day, which is celebrated every year on September 29th, the heart health experts at AMS Cardiology are sharing how to stay active at home with these 5 simple tips for heart health.
One of the simplest exercises to do at home is to get up and go for a walk. Head to the park or stroll around the neighborhood. Make it fun and plan a family walk in the morning, at lunch-time, or after dinner (or all three!). Regular physical activity can improve and strengthen your heart muscle and your heart won’t have to work as hard to pump oxygen-rich blood through your body. Remember, playing, housework, and family dance parties all count, too! Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day, 5 times a week, and don’t forget to bring along your mask and follow appropriate social distancing guidelines when out in public.
While you’re cuddled up at home on the couch, it can be tempting to reach for those sweet, sugary sodas and fruit juices. Because you’re more sedentary than usual, your body might not recognize when it needs water. It’s a smart idea to ditch the sugary drinks and aim to hydrate yourself with 64 oz. of water a day. If this seems impossible, try drinking 8 oz. every hour. This will help you successfully guzzle 64 oz. by dinnertime! Staying hydrated can not only positively impact your physical health, but it can also help your mental wellbeing.
Now is not the time to ditch healthy eating! While we recognize traditional grocery shopping has become a little strange due to the pandemic, opting to prepare healthy meals instead of fast food or takeout can help you feel your best while staying indoors. Stock up on fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, and make sure they are packed with color. Try to limit processed and packaged foods and instead choose whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats to keep your mood, hormones, and energy levels regulated throughout the day.
Listen to Music
Get up and dance! It is scientifically proven that dancing is a great form of cardiovascular exercise. Plus, upbeat music can significantly improve your mood. Try putting together a feel-good playlist full of different tempos and beats to increase your heart rate and build a stronger heart.
Engage in In-Home Workouts
If you can’t get outdoors to exercise and are still wary of gyms, learn some simple exercises to do at home. Try searching Youtube for your favorite type of workout and invest in some affordable exercise equipment like dumbbells, resistance bands, or an exercise ball. Whether you’re enjoying a relaxing and uplifting yoga flow or are getting intense with a HIIT workout, the internet is full of fun workout videos that can be easily filtered based on your skill level.
If you’re wondering how to stay active at home during these unprecedented times, the heart health experts at AMS are here for you. At this time, we are still providing heart checkups through telehealth services or you can visit us at one of our locations. We know this has been a stressful time for all, but your mental and physical health shouldn’t have to suffer. Adjusting your previous exercise routine to fit into the “new normal” will leave your body and mind feeling great. Contact us today at 215-517-1000 for questions, comments, or concerns, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment.