Take charge of your health this month! Look around! There are hearts everywhere in February not only for Valentine’s Day, but also because it’s Heart Health Month. During the month of February we celebrate love and bring awareness to heart disease.
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. 1 in 4 deaths every year is attributed to heart disease. The good news is that we have the ability to incorporate healthy lifestyle habits that can lower our risk for heart disease. These habits include managing sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels, avoiding cigarette smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly.
Walking is one of the best exercises to keep your heart fit and to show yourself some love! As a Board-Certified Podiatric Surgeon specializing in prevention and treatment of foot conditions, I have a lot of first-hand experience in the positive changes I have witnessed in my patients with exercise and the health benefits of walking. In addition to walking being good for your heart, it is one of the best ways to not only maintain, but also to improve bone density, strength, balance, and circulation.
Below are some of the positive ways walking can affect your body:
- Osteopenia/Osteoporosis: Osteopenia and osteoporosis are progressive conditions that commonly affect people later in life, especially women. Weight-bearing exercises like walking can strengthen muscles, and improve bone strength in those with osteoporosis, decreasing risk of falls and fractures.
- Circulation: Strong leg muscles help leg veins by squeezing and pumping blood back up to the heart. Walking develops strong leg muscles and improves circulation.
- Blood Pressure: Walking can improve cholesterol and blood pressure, and is known to lower blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. This is especially important for patients with diabetes because both poor circulation and increased sugar levels increase the risk for diabetic complications such as limb-threatening ulcers, infections, and amputation.
It is very important to wear shoes that are appropriate for your physical activity to avoid injury. I recommend slipping on a pair of shoes from the Vionic active line, such as Revive for men and Satima for women. Both shoes feature high quality materials and sturdy athletic outsoles to support all-day movement. Designed for walking, the shoes absorb shock, and provide significant arch support and cushioning.
“Walk! Move! Live!” is the motto and culture of Vionic. These shoes are a perfect complement to your heart healthy exercise routine.