Looking for some springtime activities that can benefit your heart health? Here are five great ones to consider.
Do you feel like you've spent the entire winter in hibernation? After months of cold weather, you're probably itching to get outside and feel the sun again. Springtime provides a great opportunity to improve your heart health while exercising in the great outdoors.
What's more, your community probably offers spring activities for seniors that'll give you a chance to strengthen your heart and stretch your social muscles all at the same time. So break out the shorts and check out these five heart-healthy ways to kick off the new season:
1. Start Walking
Start by putting one foot in front of the other: The American Heart Association says by simply walking daily, you can significantly lower your risk of heart disease. But if a solo walk around the block isn't really cutting it for you, consider signing up for a community Walk-a-Thon. They're common for schools and other organizations in the spring months, and the added element of camaraderie can help you stay motivated. Research tools online can show you where to find a hiking trail in your area that matches your level of ability.
Remember, walking doesn't always have to be a formal event. Any time you can get outside and get moving, do so—it will do wonders for your heart. Consider making plans to visit your local farmers market or fair, or check out your outdoor mall for a nice afternoon stroll.
2. Get Involved
Community service provides a unique opportunity to do something good for your body and for your fellow man. Many community services and activities are a great chance to get your daily steps in, so check your city's website or local bulletin boards for events like community cleanups. You might be assigned to pick up trash at a local park or help clean up garden beds in community spaces, but either way, you'll get a great workout, play an integral role in keeping your community clean, and may even meet some new friends—all things to feel good about.
3. Stay Zen
At first glance, yoga might not seem like a cardio workout. But stretching, meditating, and focusing your attention all have positive benefits on your heart rate and cholesterol, too.
By joining a yoga class specifically for your age and ability level, you'll have the best chance of reaping all the benefits of a mindful workout while getting to spend time with like-minded people. Outdoor classes, like yoga in the park, give you a chance to get outside and start the season in a zen-like, relaxed state.
4. Find Water
When the spring sun is out in full force, water sports are one of the best ways to get moving outdoors. And while you're at it, don't forget a high-quality sunscreen, of course. You don't necessarily have to go swimming—although we recommend that, too–paddleboarding and kayaking are also heart-benefiting activities which will get you outside.
Many communities offer group water activities in ponds or lakes, and you might be able to rent a paddleboard or kayak, eliminating the tedious task of hauling your gear to and from the water. Bonus: Water sports are naturally low-impact, making them ideal for those who suffer from joint pain.
5. Go Green
After a season of cold weather, your garden could probably use a little TLC. And, luckily, gardening can also help give your heart a boost of cardio activity, thanks to all that bending, moving, digging, and pulling. Carve out some time to get outside and start making the rounds to prep your garden–even if the weather's not quite warm enough for planting yet.
If you don't have a garden of your own, check out opportunities to volunteer at a community garden, where you'll get a chance to flex your green thumb and heart muscles, too.
The time has come to shed the winter blues and embrace spring as a ripe opportunity to improve your heart health. Whether you like to exercise solo or you'd rather be part of a group, there are spring activities for seniors for any ability or interest. So get outside and get moving, your body will thank you.
For more heart-healthy tips, speak with your Rite Aid Pharmacist or visit our Heart Health Solution Center.
By Jae Curtis
American Heart Association, Walking
These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, and are not intended to treat or cure any disease. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid, or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of scientific literature may vary. Consult your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, exercise, or medication regime.