Global pandemic or not, the chill of February does its best to ensure we spend a great deal of time inside. 

We also observe February as American Heart Month, using it as a time to consider the little changes we can make to improve our cardiovascular health. However, it’s difficult to feel like you’re living your healthiest life when we spend so much time indoors. 

We’ve tapped into the expertise of Katie Farinacci, Cardiac Rehab Specialist at Catholic Health. Katie was kind enough to give us a few recommendations of the ways folks can get their blood pumping and body moving — all while staying indoors! 

“The American Heart Association recommends we get in 30 minutes of exercise, at least 5 days per week… or 150 minutes total per week to promote overall body and heart health.

These exercises should include cardiovascular or aerobic exercises, stretching, and resistance/strength training. With both cold weather and COVID restricting our time outside, around others, and at the gym, we should focus on at-home exercises and activities.”

Katie Farinacci

Cardiac Rehab Specialist, Catholic Health

Indoor Exercises Suggested by a Cardiac Rehab Specialist

Here are a few exercises to help promote heart health that can be done at home:

Take a walk. 

Taking a brisk walk has many cardiovascular benefits. Strive for 7,000-10,000 steps per day, a goal that helps make sure you are moving throughout the day. 

To make sure your walking surface is safe, avoid places that are iced over or uneven. Bundle up if it’s cold outside, making sure to cover your mouth and nose to breathe in warmer air. If the temperature prevents an outdoor walk, walk around your house instead, going up and down stairs. 

Try some yoga poses.

Do some basic stretching, based on what is safe for your body and condition. Some ideas are: 

  • Side body stretches
  • Forward bend stretches 
  • Sit and reach stretches 

Chair yoga or supportive movements such as this are a great step for beginners attempting to make their body more flexible. The less stiff we allow our bodies to become, the more activities we will be able to participate in. 

Do jumping jacks or march in place. 

These exercises allow our heart rates to elevate, promoting the strengthening of the heart muscle. These heart-pumping exercises aide in lowering overall heart rate and blood pressure. 

Incorporate light weight lifting.

Bicep curls, tricep extensions, and overhead presses are a few easy upper body exercises to do. Use light (5 lbs. or less) dumbbells, or household items such as soup cans. Or you can just use your body weight to get some resistance through these motions! 

Practice core exercises. 

Strengthening core muscles helps with better posture, which believe it or not, can help with better breathing techniques. What does breathing have to do with heart health? Better breathing promotes better oxygen circulation throughout the body.  Suggestions for core exercises include sit-ups and a modified push-up (on your knees). 

Conditioning our entire body will promote heart health. The more active we are, the more our heart is supported to do the work it is intended to do, which is circulate blood and oxygen to the entire body. Regular physical activity also helps prevent heart disease and high blood pressure.

Find a Cardiologist Near You
Call (716) 706-2113

Find a Cardiologist Near You
Call (716) 706-2113