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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Get Up and Get Moving!

By Kiara Tatum

February is Heart Month, and it’s time to get active.  Having PH slows us down, but don’t let it prevent you from physical activity. There are plenty of ways to move your body throughout the day.  Here are six helpers to get you moving:
  1. Complete 30 minutes of physical activity a day.  This 30 minutes can be two or three segments of 10-15 minutes if you can’t do 30 minutes at one session.  Chair Yoga and Pilates are great workouts for people with PH.  But talk to your PH doctor before starting any exercise regimen.
  2. Go for a walk.  I know it may be cold out now for some, so wait until the warmer temperatures.  You can take a 30 minute walk around your neighborhood.  If you have a dog, take him/her on the walk with you. If capable, go on a nice nature walk or hike with family and/or friends.  The inclines and not smooth paths are challenging, but are a great workout. 
  3. Plan physical outings.  Trips to the mall for window shopping can be great exercise for you, your family and/or friends.  It keeps you walking and talking, and not sitting on the couch watching television.  A couple of weekends ago my friends and I went bowling. It was a great physical workout for me, and I spent quality time with my friends laughing and attempting to bowl.
  4. Do housework.  Vacuuming the floor, dusting, sweeping, taking out the garbage, doing your laundry are great physical activities to keep your body moving for a while. Cleaning can be hard work, so go at your own pace.
  5. Turn up the music and dance.  If you love listening to music, try music that makes you want to get up and dance.  I love to listen to Taylor Swift’s Red album because it makes me want to move.  I have great fun dancing and singing along to my favorite songs.  Whether you’re good or bad at it, dancing means your body is moving and grooving to the beat.
  6. Play.  Play video games with the Kinect or Wii for movement.  Playing jump rope, hop scotch, or just playing uses energy, and you don’t even realize because you are having fun.  Playing with my nephews and nieces always takes lots of energy, and afterwards I’m always ready for a long nap. It also gives me a chance to behave like a kid again and have some fun and laughs with my family.
Remember that doing something each day and keeping yourself moving is better than doing nothing and staying sedentary.  It can help your heart get stronger, especially for those with PH.  Do what you can, do something you enjoy, have fun, but more importantly get moving!

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