Heart Health

February is the month for all matters of the heart–including its health.

Health & Wellness
 Min read
February 7, 2022

February is the month for all matters of the heart–including its health. 

Throughout February, also called “American Heart Month,” health experts nationwide encourage a focus on improving your cardiovascular health through exercise and healthy lifestyle choices.

The human heart pumps blood throughout our body, supplying oxygen and nutrients, and removing toxins and waste. We owe a lot to this small but mighty organ. 

However, arteries leading to the heart can become clogged causing serious consequences including heart attack and stroke. In fact, heart disease remains the #1 killer worldwide and specifically in America, according to the most recent statistics from the American Heart Association. ¹

Take some time this month to educate yourself on risk factors associated with Heart Disease, as well as preventative steps you can take to lower your risk and keep your heart healthy and happy.

Control the Controllable

According to the Center for Disease Control, “almost half of all Americans have at least 1 of 3 key risk factors for heart disease.”² These key risk factors are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking while diabetes and obesity also greatly influence heart health. 

While age and genetics does affect these risk factors, your lifestyle choices also play a major role in determining heart health. So, control what you can control when it comes to your cardiovascular health: 

  • Eat a nutritious diet that includes food high in fiber and low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol. 
  • Limit sodium and sugar intake
  • Limit your alcohol consumption as it can increase your blood pressure
  • Don’t smoke
  • Reduce your stress
  • Exercise regularly 
  • Schedule regular appointments with your doctor

What area(s) in your life do you notice a need for improvement? Intentionally choose one or more from this list to focus on during this year’s Heart Month. 

Types of Exercises to Improve Heart Health 

If you want to focus on getting more regular exercise, Pietra Fitness can help. 

A consistent fitness routine can help strengthen your heart muscles, control your weight, and prevent damage from high cholesterol, high blood sugar and high blood pressure. 

There are three different types of exercise on which you should focus to keep your heart in good shape: 


Cardio or Aerobic exercises are designed to raise your heart rate. They can help improve your circulation and lower your blood pressure, as well as reduce your risk of diabetes. 

The CDC suggests that every adult should get at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week, like walking or dancing. Or if you’re short on time, one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise like running or swimming laps. 

Pietra Fitness Online Studio also offers several Cardio-focused classes to get your heart pumping!

Resistance Training

Resistance training, or strength training, can also help to improve your cardiovascular health. When combined with cardio, this type of workout can help lower your bad cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke. 

Both the CDC and the American Heart Association suggest strength training exercises at least twice a week. These sessions should work all of your major muscle groups: arms, legs, hips, chest, shoulders, abs, and back.

Pietra Fitness Online Studio recently began offering resistance training to help strengthen all of your muscle, including your heart.


Although stretching and flexibility exercises do not directly contribute to heart health in the same way that cardio and strength do, they can help to reduce stress and ensure your body can participate in more vigorous activity on a regular basis. 

Johns Hopkins exercise physiologist Kerry J. Stewart, Ed.D. says that flexibility is important “...because it provides a good foundation for performing aerobic and strength exercises more effectively.”

Every Pietra Fitness class begins and ends with a time of stretching to help your body get the most from your workout. 

Sign up for Pietra Fitness Online Studio this month and start working to improve your heart health! 


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