Every Friday, Cooper Health Institute will provide you with their Fit Tip of the week. Check back every Friday for the newest tip!
July 14th | Fit Friday Tip- Recover Quicker With A Cool-Down. Cooling down after a workout can help your body reset so you can avoid dizziness, reduce lactic acid buildup and recover a little big easier. Gradually reduce your heart rate by walking for about five minutes. This is the best time to stretch, when your muscles are still warm. Breathing deeply during your cool down can also help your relax.
Find More Fit Tips like this one from the American Heart Association.
July 14th | Fit Friday Tip- Don’t Skip Out On Your Warm-Up. Warming up is a critical part of having a safe and efficient workout. Give your body a few minutes of prep-time to increase flexibility and prevent injury. 5-10 minutes is a good rule of thumb; the more intense the activity, the longer your warm-up should be.
Find More Fit Tips like this from the American Heart Association.
July 7th | Fit Friday Tip-Raise a glass. Moderate consumption of alcohol can help raise your levels of HDL, or good cholesterol. It can also help prevent blood clot formation and artery damage. According to the Mayo Clinic, red wine in particular may offer benefits for your heart. That doesn’t mean you should guzzle it at every meal. The key is to only drink alcohol in moderation.
June 30th | Fit Friday Tip– Stretch it out. Yoga can help you improve your balance, flexibility, and strength. It can help you relax and relieve stress. As if that’s not enough, yoga also has potential to improve heart health. According to research published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, yoga demonstrates potential to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
June 23rd | Fit Friday Tip– Laugh out loud. Don’t just LOL in emails or Facebook posts. Laugh out loud in your daily life. Whether you like watching funny movies or cracking jokes with your friends, laughter may be good for your heart. According to the AHA, research suggests laughing can lower stress hormones, decrease inflammation in your arteries, and raise your levels of high-density lipoprotein (HLD), also known as “good cholesterol.”
June 16th | Fit Friday Tip- Go fish. Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can also help ward off heart disease. Many fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and herring, are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Try to eat fish at least twice a week, suggests the AHA. If you’re concerned about mercury or other contaminants in fish, you may be happy to learn that its heart-healthy benefits tend to outweigh the risks for most people.
June 9th | Fit Friday Tip- Let the music move you. Whether you prefer a rumba beat or two-step tune, dancing makes for a great heart-healthy workout. Like other forms of aerobic exercise, it raises your heart rate and gets your lungs pumping. It also burns up to 200 calories or more per hour, reports the Mayo Clinic.
June 2nd | Fit Friday Tip- Power up your salsa with beans. When paired with low-fat chips or fresh veggies, salsa offers a delicious and antioxidant-rich snack. Consider mixing in a can of black beans for an added boost of heart-healthy fiber. According to the Mayo Clinic, a diet rich in soluble fiber can help lower your level of low-density lipoprotein, or “bad cholesterol.” Other rich sources of soluble fiber include oats, barley, apples, pears, and avocados.
May 26th | Fit Friday Tip-Knit a scarf. Put your hands to work to help your mind unwind. Engaging in activities such as knitting, sewing, and crocheting can help relieve stress and do your ticker some good. Other relaxing hobbies, such as woodworking, cooking, or completing jigsaw puzzles, may also help take the edge off stressful days.
May 19th | Fit Friday Tip– Focus on the middle. That is, focus on your middle. Research in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has linked excess belly fat to higher blood pressure and unhealthy blood lipid levels. If you’re carrying extra fat around your middle, it’s time to slim down. Eating fewer calories and exercising more can make a big difference.
May 12th | Fit Friday Tip– Stop smoking—no ifs, ands, or butts. There are many steps you can take to help protect your health and blood vessels. Avoiding tobacco is one of the best.
In fact, smoking is one of the top controllable risk factors for heart disease. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, the American Heart Association (AHA), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) all encourage you to quit. It can make a huge difference to not just your heart, but your overall health, too.
May 5th | Fit Friday Tip– Kick your housework up a notch. Vacuuming or mopping the floors may not be as invigorating as a Body Slam or Zumba class. But these activities and other household chores do get you moving. They can give your heart a little workout, while burning calories too. Put your favorite music on and add some pep to your step while you complete your weekly chores.
April 28th | Fit Friday Tip – Go nuts. Almonds, walnuts, pecans, and other tree nuts deliver a powerful punch of heart-healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Including them in your diet can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Remember to keep the serving size small, suggests the AHA. While nuts are full of healthy stuff, they’re also high in calories.
April 21st | Fit Friday Tip– Be a kid. Fitness doesn’t have to be boring. Let your inner child take the lead by enjoying an evening of roller skating, bowling, or laser tag. You can have fun while burning calories and giving your heart a workout.
April 14th | Fit Friday Tip– Consider pet therapy. Our pets offer more than good company and unconditional love. They also provide numerous health benefits. Studies reported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggest that owning a pet may help improve your heart and lung function. It may also help lower your chances of dying from heart disease.
April 7th | Fit Friday Tip– Start and stop. Start and stop, then start and stop again. During interval training, you alternate bursts of intense physical activity with bouts of lighter activity. The Mayo Clinic reports that doing so can boost the number of calories you burn while working out.
March 31st | Fit Friday Tip: Cut the fat. Slicing your saturated fat intake to no more than 7 percent of your daily calories can cut your risk of heart disease, advises the USDA. If you don’t normally read nutrition labels, considering starting today. Take stock of what you’re eating and avoid foods that are high in saturated fat.
March 24th | Fit Friday Tip: Make time for breakfast. The first meal of the day is an important one. Eating a nutritious breakfast every day can help you maintain a healthy diet and weight. To build a heart-healthy meal, reach for:
- whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole-grain cereals, or whole-wheat toast
- lean protein sources, such as turkey bacon or a small serving of nuts or peanut butter
- low-fat dairy products, such as low-fat milk, yogurt, or cheese
- fruits and vegetables
March 17th | Fit Friday Tip: Take the scenic route home. Put down your cell phone, forget about the driver who cut you off, and enjoy your ride. Eliminating stress while driving can help lower your blood pressure and stress levels. That’s something your cardiovascular system will appreciate.
March 10th | Fit Friday Tip: Brew up a heart-healthy potion. No magic is needed to brew up a cup of green or black tea. Drinking one to three cups of tea per day may help lower your risk of heart problems, reports the AHA. For example, it’s linked to lower rates of angina and heart attacks
March 3rd | Fit Friday Tip: Brush your teeth regularly. Good oral hygiene does more than keep your teeth white and glistening. According to the Cleveland Clinic, some research suggests that the bacteria that cause gum disease can also raise your risk of heart disease. While the research findings have been mixed, there’s no downside to taking good care of your teeth and gums.
February 24th | Fit Friday Tip: Walk it off. The next time you feel overwhelmed, exasperated, or angry, take a stroll. Even a five-minute walk can help clear your head and lower your stress levels, which is good for your health. Taking a half-hour walk every day is even better for your physical and mental health.
February 17th | Fit Friday Tip: Pump some iron. Aerobic fitness is key to keeping your heart healthy, but it’s not the only type of exercise you should do. It’s also important to include regular strength training sessions in your schedule. The more muscle mass you build, the more calories you burn. That can help you maintain a heart-healthy weight and fitness level.
February 10th | Fit Friday Tip: Find your happy place. A sunny outlook may be good for your heart, as well as your mood. According to the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, chronic stress, anxiety, and anger can raise your risk of heart disease and stroke. Maintaining a positive outlook on life may help you stay healthier for longer.
February 3rd | Fit Friday Tip: Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or get off a few floors early and take the stairs the rest of the way.