If cardiologists could prescribe exercise, they definitely would. Walking works muscles all over your body, including your heart muscle. By choosing to lead an active lifestyle, you may lower your risk of high blood pressure, poor cholesterol levels and heart disease. If you’ve already been diagnosed with a heart health problem, you can talk to a cardiologist at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center before starting a new exercise routine.
Benefits of walking routines
If you enjoy running and can do it safely, then by all means continue to run. But many people at risk of heart disease shy away from exercise because running just isn’t right for them. If you belong to the latter group, you may be happy to know that the American Heart Association wholeheartedly endorses moderate-intensity walking routines to protect heart health .
The American Heart Association took a look at a research study that analyzed data from over 33,000 runners and over 15,000 walkers. The results indicated that both walkers and runners had a comparable reduction in the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and possibly coronary heart disease. The improvements in health applied to moderate-intensity walking and vigorous-intensity running.
Tips for starting a walking routine
Walking is safe exercise for most people, but you can always check with your doctor if you’re concerned about a pre-existing health condition. Wear a pair of comfortable, supportive athletic shoes. Wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water, especially during the hot summer months.
If you’re having trouble getting motivated, it might help to avoid timing yourself. Just take a stroll around a park or head for a nature trail. Deliberately not timing yourself can help you see walking as an enjoyable activity, rather than a chore.
As your endurance builds, start timing yourself. Try to walk faster for longer periods, and choose routes with hills for a greater challenge.
Los Robles Cardiac and Cardiovascular Center has provided high-quality heart health services for more than four decades. Our heart hospital is nationally recognized for leading the way in cutting-edge cardiology interventions, but we also pride ourselves on our compassionate, individualized approach. Thousand Oaks residents can call (877) 888-5746 for general information about cardiology services at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center.