I recently read that if I can’t walk continuously for six minutes at a comfortable pace, my heart fitness needs attention. That took me aback a bit. Some days, six minutes of walking seems brief. Other days, it seems an eternity, especially when I don’t feel hale and hearty, or I don’t want to walk and it’s raining, storming, snowing, windy, hot, cold … I enjoy blaming the weather those days.
The walking “test” apparently indicates my muscle and joint health. Likely the moving part indicates joint function, and the six minute timing part reveals heart function.
My joints aren’t young, but they don’t gripe about walking most days, even though I feel the aches of osteoarthritis sometimes. Exercise doesn’t make arthritis go away, but it might help me keep my joints functioning. Over the years, I’ve read that regular movement keeps my joints flexible; stillness makes them stiff.
My heart is a muscle, so I know it must be exercised to function well. But sometimes I forget the old saying “Move it or lose it” applies. That means my heart and I “gotta” exercise.
Not wanting my heart to wither, I’m always open to new ways to strengthen my heart. Three easy ways to do that are parking my car more remotely and walking further to a building’s entrance; climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator; and walking to places nearby for errands, instead of automatically using the car.
Often, I am often mindlessly locked into habits. It would be good for my heart and all-over fitness to unlock my mind, walk places, and climb stairs.
Please share what you know about your heart fitness.