February is American Heart Month. If you’re a regular reader of the Fitbit Blog and are a Fitbit user, you already know how important activity is for your overall health. We recently focused on some insightful and helpful statistics about walking and improving your health. This month we’re seeing red, honing in on heart health.
To kick off Hearth Month, we dug up some great stats from the American Heart Association and other sources to help keep you motivated to move. While many of us just love to get/stay activate out of sheer enjoyment, many people do find it helpful to connect the dots from activity to actual health-improving results. Keep it in the back of your mind during those inevitable “down days,” when you really have to push yourself to move. Hey, it happens to the best of us!
But let’s not put the cart before the horse. You don’t get the positive results without actively taking steps (no pun intended) to get there. So here are a few tips from our friends at HeartMath to get you on the right track toward managing heart health, and a huge contributor to heart problems: stress.
Furthermore, activity increases mental wellness. That rush of adrenaline and the calm feeling that follows a great workout session? It’s not just confined to a single workout! It’s been proven that over time, those feelings can extend to your general everyday well-being. And that’s good for your heart. Follow the above tips, become more active, and you’re fast on your way to enjoying the benefits of these 14 heart-healthy statistics:
- Activity actually enhances your immune system, protecting your heart and reduce your chances of developing heart disease.
- Increasing your activity can lower your blood pressure by as much as 4 to 9 mm Hg.
- Physical activity improves blood circulation, which reduces the risk of heart disease.
- Becoming more active keeps weight under control, and as you might guess, that puts less stress on the heart.
- Blood cholesterol levels improve under increased activity.
- Blood pressure goes down or becomes manageable when regularly active.
- An active lifestyle can improve your quality of sleep, while poor sleep can contribute to heart disease.
- Activity reduces coronary heart disease in women by 30-40 %
- Children can see life-long heart-healthy habits by becoming active at a young age.
- Walking can lower risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as much as running.
- Walking can significantly reduce the risk for first-time hypertension by 7.2 percent.
- Walking can reduce first-time high cholesterol by 4.3 percent
- Walking can reduce coronary heart disease by 4.5 percent
- Any activity that makes your heart work harder will help you meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.