“The best exercise is the one that you’ll do!” – William Sears, MD
It’s no secret, exercise is essential to your health! When mixed with the right nutrition, exercise is your best heart medicine. Exercise doesn’t have to mean a full-blown session in the gym, or training for a triathlon. When it comes to heart medicine, “exercise” is really any movement that gets your heart pumping, like walking, dancing or swimming.
Movement not only prevents blood vessels from clogging, but can also help re-open vessels that are already clogged. Movement is also the only cholesterol-lowering medication that has no side effects!
You might be thinking that you’re too busy to work out, but not so fast! You can easily move every day, no matter where you are.
Here are five simple ways to incorporate movement into your day:
- Take a 5-minute break from work every hour and take a walk around the office. If you work 8 hours, that’s 40 minutes of walking a day!
- Workout on your lunch break, even if that means doing simple body-weight exercises like squats, lunge walks or even jump roping in the parking lot.
- Park far, far away from your office so you have to walk further to get inside.
- Do “The Secret Handshake.” Sit up with your feet flat on the floor. Clasp your hands together as if giving yourself a handshake, with one hand’s thumb pointing to the floor and the other pointing to the ceiling. Then pull and feel the resistance in both your arms. Hold for 10 seconds or more, release and repeat.
- Take the stairs. Yes, a common recommendation, but an effective one!
Every bit of movement you can do will support a healthy heart. The five suggestions above are ways to increase your movement each day, but in addition, you should aim to do 30-60 minutes of cardio at least 3 days a week.
5 Ideas for a Family Exercise Plan
- Make a Rule: No TV or video games on weekdays or before playing outside for at least 30 minutes.
- Set an Example: Save your walk for when your kids get home from school, and take them with you. Let them ride their bike if they can’t keep your pace!
- Develop a Routine: Find a physical activity that your family enjoys doing together and schedule it into your calendars at least once a week. Also encourage and schedule after school play time with other children.
- Play Sports Together: If you have older kids, play a game of baseball, basketball or soccer. You can go to the local park or just play in your own backyard!
- Plan an Active Family Vacation: For your next family vacation, plan to do something that involves activities like bike riding, hiking, swimming or dancing.
If you’re ready to move more, but need help getting started, contact me to schedule a consultation – the first step to a healthier you.
Sweet Potatoes with Warm Black Bean Salad
Makes: 2-4 servings
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1. Slice sweet potatoes into ½ inch cubes. Place in a pot of water with a vegetable steamer and cover. Let steam for about 5-8 minutes or until a fork easily enters into a sweet potato cube.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine beans, tomatoes, oil, cumin, coriander and salt; heat in a small saucepan over medium heat until tender and mixed (about 3-4 minutes).
3. Place cubes of sweet potatoes on the bottom of a plate or bowl, and top with bean mixture. Dollop with Greek yogurt and fresh cilantro.
A.M.E.N. to a Healthier You!