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Outdoor Activities for Heart Health

Outdoor Activities for Heart Health

Posted by on Mar 21st 2024

The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer! It’s springtime again, which means it’s the perfect time to go outside and get some physical activity in the fresh air.

Year-round, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. But, as the weather improves, there are more opportunities for you to get out of the house, explore, and get your body moving without being confined indoors. Here are some examples of physical activities you can do outdoors to support your heart health.

Take a Walk

Going for a stroll is one of the best ways to incorporate more movement into your daily routine. The AHA includes brisk walking as an option for moderate-intensity aerobic activity, which means you’re walking at least 2.5 miles per hour.

It’s accessible too, as you don’t need any equipment to do it outside! Plus, it’s an activity you can easily do with a partner for some extra moral support. If you’ve been a little more sedentary after a long winter, start with shorter walks and eventually build up to longer distances over time.

Do Some Yard Work

Anyone who has done rigorous yard work knows that it oftentimes feels like a workout! The AHA even lists gardening as one example of how you can get more moderate-intensity aerobic activity into your daily routine.

As we roll into spring, take the opportunity to do some spring cleaning in your yard like weeding out your flower beds or mulching your lawn. Not only will you get in some good stretching and exercise, but you’ll also get to enjoy the blooming flowers and budding trees in your yard.

Go Hiking

If you’re looking to get a little more rigorous activity into your routine, consider going for an uphill hike, as recommended by the AHA. You can add even more difficulty by putting on a weighted backpack.

Look for hiking trails in your local area, and do some research beforehand so you’re aware of the trail conditions and difficulty before heading out. Depending on where you live, the spring can be a particularly muddy season due to runoff from melting snow, so you may want to wait until the late spring and summer to go hiking. Always hike with a buddy, and go prepared with enough water and food for the length of hike you’re going on.

Go for a Bike Ride

Biking is another great option for either moderate-intensity or vigorous exercise, according to the AHA. An easy way to do more biking this spring is to swap out driving your car for riding your bike to certain destinations, like going to and from work. This way, it’s practical both as a method of transportation and as a way to get your heart pumping.

If this isn’t an option, take a casual bike ride in the evenings to get moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Or, you can go cycling at more than 10 miles per hour if you want a more vigorous workout.