February is Heart Health Month. Sadly, the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States is heart disease. “One of every three deaths in the U.S. in 2013 were from heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases, while heart disease and stroke were the No. 1 and No. 2 killers worldwide, according to American Heart Association’s 2016 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update.
The good news: You can improve your heart health starting with an exercise buddy. You are probably more likely to go somewhere if you’ve made arrangements to go with a friend. It seems like having a buddy to accompany you makes everything a little more enjoyable.
When it comes to exercise, a commitment to share the experience increases the chances of follow-through. In addition to keeping the promise you’ve made to one another, there’s also the excitement in spending time together — a great motivator.
Here are some suggestions for buddying up for heart health:
- Invite a friend or new acquaintance to walk with you daily or several times a week at a set time and location. While you chat and get to know each other better, you will be building muscle and burning calories, improving cardiovascular health.
- Start a walking club, and invite people join you.
- Participate in a service activity that will get your heart pumping, such as a walkathon for a charitable cause, or host your own.
- Schedule fitness into community events, such as a walk around the block after a dinner meeting or casual event.
- Don’t assume anyone is too busy. You can buddy up with family members, pets, and coworkers.
Who is your exercise buddy?