HealthWatch: Cardiovascular exercise and staying mentally well during COVID-19

Health Watch

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Recently we told you about the six aspects of wellness- physical, emotional, intellectual, social, environmental and spiritual health.

Now, more than ever, those at Aurora BayCare Medical Center are encouraging those to achieve their healthiest life possible. One step is bettering our physical wellness through cardiovascular exercise. Up until April, heart disease was the leading cause of death in the U-S.

“When you are in good heart health, it puts you at a lower risk for falling ill to any of the leading risks that are out there such as cancer, as I mentioned heart disease, and now COVID-19,” said Regan Dahnert, Personal trainer at Aurora BayCare Sports Medicine. “When you take care of your body, it really helps you in the long run when it comes to any of the diseases.”

There’s even a simple program Aurora have created to get those started called the ‘Couch to Cardio’ program. It’s a means for getting physical activity and boosting your heart rate.

“All you have to do is start stepping,” says Dahnert. “I want you to start with a time frame that works for you, so you can start with 30 seconds- just stepping up and down for 30 seconds or until you feel like your heart rate is up and you’re out of breath. Ultimately, we’re trying to reach three minutes as our goal.”

Just as the name implies, it’s simple enough to move from your couch to your stairs. If that isn’t quite your fancy, there’s always something as simple as walking.

“If walking a quarter mile is challenging, just shoot for a quarter mile and then, maybe next week, for a half-mile and then, ultimately, shooting for one mile and progressing from there,” said Dahnert. “I’m targeting those people who are currently not doing anything just to help them get started.”

Journaling is also a good exercise, often practiced to pursue mental health and well-being.

“Getting a journal and having it by your bed as something you can do first thing in the morning when you get up and then the last thing you do before you go to bed,” said Dahnert. “It’s to help unpack, explore and process your thoughts, feelings and your experiences.”

A few helpful topics to journal include answering:

  • What are you grateful for?
  • Things you’re pleasantly surprised by, such as spending more time with family.
  • Also, rediscovering things you enjoy.

Always remember when beginning an exercise routine to first consult with your doctor in case you have high-risk or underlying health conditions. For more information and updates about COVID-19, you can visit Aurora BayCare’s Resource Center online right here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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