It is often said that “movement is life.” The heart is one organ that exemplifies this statement. If the heart doesn’t pump, blood doesn’t move, and the body can’t survive. A healthy heart is crucial, and movement is a big factor to keeping it that way. However, as my active, hard-working father has recently discovered movement is just 1 piece to the healthy heart puzzle. He is also a prime example of how someone can look and feel healthy even when severe damage is present. My goal is to share 3 tips that can start you on the journey to improving your heart health, which could add years to your life, and even generate productivity in your workday.
The typical lunch hour is thwarted with paperwork, emails, and business calls that didn’t fit in the rest of the day so our meal time gets cut to a minimum. We think less and less about what we put into our bodies, and focus more and more on the quickest options. This is not to say that we can’t have quick and healthy options, but we do have to plan ahead for success with speedy food selections. Taking 10 minutes the night before to prepare a quick lunch for the next day can ease stress, and give you the chance to actually think about what is going into your body. Add a handful of nuts, an avocado, or a hard-boiled egg to a salad for a very filling option on a short lunch break. Basically cut the processed junk and opt for quick, healthy fats or protein for lunch. Choosing healthier options can also help you get through that 2pm blood sugar slump at the office.
- MEAL PLAN
Take control of stress by viewing it as helpful instead of harmful. Research is now showing that how we interpret stress may be the determining factor for its effects on our bodies. For example, when you have anxiety over a meeting or presentation you may note your breathing change and feel that your blood pressure is rising. It is better to view this as your body’s way of preparing you for the upcoming event versus seeing this as a harmful change that could be taxing on your body. Now, we know that chronic stress is not ideal for the body, but in circumstances where we have stressful events it can benefit us to view the resulting bodily changes as the normal course of action for us to perform at a better capacity.
- MASTER YOUR MINDSET
If you have a desk job it is imperative to find innovative ways to create an environment conducive to movement. A sit to stand workstation is a great option that allows you to get up from a seated position occasionally. Parking further from the entrance to your office helps add extra steps. You can also opt for the stairs, take a walk while on a conference call, or jog in place while checking emails. Movement doesn’t have to be complicated, or require knowledge of specific workout techniques. Simply taking 30 minutes a day to increase heart rate with a brisk walk can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease. Studies also show that walking can also increase creativity. So, next time you need to rev up production in the office take a walk to see what ideas are formulated, and just know you are improving your cardiovascular function as well.
If movement is a challenge for you due to some form of pain please don’t hesitate to contact me for guidance.
- MOVE MORE