To support you in this effort, our next vitality challenge is focused on heart health! The goal for this challenge is to incorporate simple practices into your day to build healthy heart practices.  It will run from Monday, February 14 to Sunday February 27, 2022. It is based around adding fruits and vegetables daily and Get your heart pumped up practices to build your overall vitality.  Along the 2-week journey with other participants, you will receive support from a Vitality Coach to keep the momentum going! Contact us today for details on how to participate. The elements of the challenge are:

6 cups of fruits and vegetables a day:

A new report by the CDC (January 2022) found that only 1 in 10 adults are eating the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables a day.  The benefits of consuming the food rainbow that produce provides is huge.  EC Synkowski, OptimizeMe Nutrition’s founder, came across a meta-analysis in the 2017 International Journal of Epidemiology which found that eating 800 grams of fruit and vegetables daily can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and stroke, as well as overall mortality. During heart month this is a simple and delicious goal to incorporate into our challenge.

Get your heart pumped up:

Exercise and movement is essential for our well-being, regardless of the duration.  For heart health it is important to incorporate aerobic exercise (such as walking, biking, hiking, swimming, etc.) regularly based on your current fitness level and overall health.  Regardless of where you are starting or the window of time you have, put them into practice 5+ times per week.  For an added bonus, performing your aerobic activity outdoors provides even more amazing benefits.

As always when engaging in elevated activity, keep in mind the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

Key Guidelines for Safe Physical Activity To do physical activity safely and reduce risk of injuries and other adverse events, people should: ƒ

  • Understand the risks, yet be confident that physical activity can be safe for almost everyone. ƒ
  • Choose types of physical activity that are appropriate for their current fitness level and health goals, because some activities are safer than others. ƒ
  • Increase physical activity gradually over time to meet key guidelines or health goals. Inactive people should “start low and go slow” by starting with lower intensity activities and gradually increasing how often and how long activities are done. ƒ
  • Protect themselves by using appropriate gear and sports equipment, choosing safe environments, following rules and policies, and making sensible choices about when, where, and how to be active. ƒ
  • Be under the care of a health care provider if they have chronic conditions or symptoms. People with chronic conditions and symptoms can consult a health care professional or physical activity specialist about the types and amounts of activity appropriate for them.

 Source: American College of Sports Medicine

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