Health and Fitness Coaching Tips

Coaching Notes:


Ways to Train Your Heart

The heart is a muscle. It can be become weak when it is not used, but it can also strengthen when we use it. Now is the time to strengthen YOUR heart!

HERE ARE WAYS TO TRAIN YOUR HEART – AND REMEMBER THAT IT TAKES 60-90 DAYS TO DEVELOP A NEW HABIT:

  1. EXERCISE REGULARLY. This causes the heart to become stronger because it must provide oxygen to the rest of the muscles. Try to aim for 210 minutes of exercise throughout the week, including strength training and aerobic activity done at the MFC and at home (walking, biking, hiking, etc.).
  2. DON’T SMOKE. Smoking increases blood pressure while decreasing exercise tolerance. Your heart becomes weaker and increases your blood pressure – which could lead to hypertension or coronary heart disease.
  3. EAT A VARIETY OF FOODS. Aim for a mix of 6 different colors throughout the day. By eating a balanced diet and adding in color, you get more flavorful meals that are healthier for you.
  4. REDUCE YOUR STRESS. When you are feeling overwhelmed or in a stressful situation, try to take 10 deep breaths. This will help to lower your heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and lower cortisol levels.
  5. SWITCH TO DARK CHOCOLATE. Dark chocolate contains high levels of anti-oxidant rich substances that relax blood vessels, lower blood pressure and control blood sugar.
  6. GET YOUR SLEEP ON. Make sure you are getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night. With less, your body releases stress hormones that will increase heart rate and increase blood pressure.
  7. MANAGE BLOOD PRESSURE. Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood in your circulatory system and is a good indication of the force on your arteries. If you have any concerns about your blood pressure, talk to your doctor or the friendly staff at the MFC.

Please contact a staff member if you have any questions by calling (717) 316-3488 or emailing us at medicalfitnesscoach@hanoverhospital.org.