With heart disease being the leading cause of death in the United States, we understand the importance of having a healthy heart. Health and wellness is a pillar of parks and recreation and we are taking on the responsibility to act as a resource and promote healthy hearts in our community. There are plenty of heart-healthy behaviors to adopt, and some can be done right here at the Park District!
1. Be Active
It’s recommended you get 30 minutes of physical activity, at least five times per week. Exercising helps improve your blood flow and lowers your blood pressure. You can start or continue an exercise routine or even just take a walk in the park. The most important thing is you get moving!
The Park District offers an affordable Fitness Center with both weight cardio rooms. Memberships also include open play basketball and walking laps in the gymnasium. Our North Park facility offers a variety of Group Fitness Programs. Offerings include Zumba, Total Body Fitness and more!
2. Limit or Cut Out
Limit or cut out saturated fats, salt, simple sugars, processed food and alcohol. This is a great step to take and encourage friends and family during the process! Red meat can also increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. There are plenty of red plant foods to eat for a healthy heart.
Make sure you drink plenty of water! Water is an essential part of being healthy and can help prevent heart failure!
3. No Smoking
If you want to maintain or improve your overall health, you should not smoke. Smoking is one of the main causes of coronary heart disease. Do not use cigarettes whether they are real or electronic. Most importantly, no smoking in your parks!
4. Get Enough Sleep
It’s recommended that you sleep at least 6-8 hours per night. Cardiovascular risks that result in poor sleep include high blood pressure and high blood sugar. Try avoiding caffeine close to bedtime for an adequate amount of sleep. One of the best tips you can adopt is listening to your body! A car doesn’t run without gas does it? Get your rest!
These are just a few of the many recommended healthy heart behaviors. Improving your heart health does not need to be done alone. Rely on others for motivation and support! Educate your families and friends and work together. Remember, #OurHearts are healthier when we work together!