Health & Fitness

General Article

Step Up to a Healthy Heart – A Simple Way to Exercise and Make Your Heart Healthy at the Same Time

Step Up to a Healthy Heart – A Simple Way to Exercise and Make Your Heart Healthy at the Same Time

Here’s a great way to get your dose of cardio-exercise without equipment, having to travel to a fitness center and can be done any time even when you are short of time. Stepping was originally the basis of the “step test.” Step tests have been around for a while and are a useful way to measure your health. Along with measuring your health, ‘stepping’ is also a great way to stay in shape.

(Please note: It’s important to always have a checkup with a doctor, especially if you have any kind of medical condition)

All you need is a pair of indoor shores, a stairway, a clock or timer. Optional equipment would be music to work out with, like your stereo by using the remote, or an mp3 player.

Start out slow and easy. Try 20 steps. It’s a good idea to start stepping with different feet each time you begin a round of stepping. For example, you can start with your right food on even days and left foot on odd days. If starting with your right foot, step up with the right foot, lift your left foot up next to the right. Step back down with your right foot followed by your left. Try this for a count of 20 steps. Remember, every time your right foot steps up it’s ONE count.

A simple variation would be to start with the left foot after you’ve done 10 counts leading with the right. Here’s a brief description. After your first 10 count, just take a step in place so that you can step up leading with your left foot the next 10 count.

If you have been doing much sitting with very little exercise you’ll notice yourself being challenged, just as you may feel after going up a flight of stairs. Again, it’s imperative to see a doctor before doing exercises, if you are out of shape, over weight, or have any kind of medical condition. You may find just doing 10 steps to be enough of a challenge for you. It’s always a good idea to start out easy. That way you have a base line to improve from.

What is so convenient about this ‘stepping’ exercise is that you can do it anytime and anyplace. At work you can take a 2-minute break, go out to the emergency stairway and do a short number of counts. You won’t break out in a sweat but you will notice your heart rate will go up and you’ll be breathing more.

You can also speed up your pace of your stepping. You just have to be extra careful you don’t trip on the stairs. This is the biggest disadvantage of stepping. It’s much better and safer to have at least one hand on the hand rail to help keep your balance and help catch yourself in the event you trip on the step.

According to a study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology, “The Harvard Alumni Health Study,” the researchers found short intervals of physical exercise that give you a little bit of a challenge have proven to be effective in building up cardiovascular strength and reducing heart disease.

So start taking steps, literally, to make your heart healthier.