5 Ways to Get Active and Relieve Stress for Earth Day
Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22, just as the spring season begins to take off. This makes Earth Day the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the warm, sunny weather and get active outdoors. Earth Day is a national holiday dedicated to appreciating wildlife, trees, flowers and all that nature has to offer. And of course, it’s no secret that cardio and stress relief both contribute to good heart health long term. This Earth Day, jump start your cardiovascular health by heading outdoors to compound the benefits of both physical activity and stress relief.
- Yoga Outdoors
You may already take yoga classes at your local gym, practice at home, or you may be new to it altogether. Either way, the stress-relieving powers of yoga combined with the benefits to your heart and body make it a great way to kick off your healthy routine this Earth Day. According to Harvard Health Publishing, yoga could improve heart health by stretching muscles and making them more sensitive to insulin, an important factor in blood sugar regulation. Yoga also helps build lung capacity and improves your heart rate. Yoga’s primary focus is to guide you toward meditation and releasing tension, important components in cardiovascular longevity. You can probably find local yoga classes that meet outdoors, or you can head outside solo to stretch and reflect.
- Go For a Hike
A gentle hike through the woods is the perfect opportunity to get active if you aren’t necessarily prepared for an intensive run or bike ride. Hiking allows you to moderate your pace while still offering the challenge of an incline. Different trails offer varying levels of intensity, from short sloping trails to longer, steeper ones. Most importantly, deep breathing and the tranquil, natural environment will help relieve your stress. Since stress is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular risk, reducing your stress levels through exercise and meditation outdoors is essential. Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to capitalize on nature’s many gifts.
- Walk or Bicycle to Work
When the alarm sounds before the sun is even up, walking or biking to work can feel like an impossible feat. It’s true that some of us struggle with long commutes through urban areas or challenging terrain. But if you’re lucky enough to live just a few miles from work, celebrate Earth Day by leaving your car in the garage. Your cardiovascular health will thank you for the added exercise!
- Clean Up Your Neighborhood for Recyclables
An important part of Earth Day is recycling. Collecting cans, cardboard and plastic from highways and city streets will not only help wildlife flourish, but keep your community beautiful. The good news is that recycling can also be a chance to focus on your cardiovascular health. Some communities even hold recycling events to bring people together in the spirit of the event. Setting out on foot to collect recyclables is one way to benefit your heart and your community simultaneously. Adding steps to your routine by walking is a productive addition to your day that your heart will thank you for.
- Get to Spring Cleaning
Earth Day comes around just in time for spring cleaning. There’s nothing more gratifying than coming home to a clean home knowing that you’ve cleared away the mess lurking in the shadows and corners. This Earth Day, you can find stress relief in moving furniture to dust away the cobwebs and dragging rugs outside for a thorough sweep. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and even heart disease can all result from unresolved, long term stress. Finding ways to manage your stress is essential to heart health, and for a lot of people the clutter at home is a trigger. Not only is cleaning a cathartic stress reliever, you’ll also be off the couch and on your feet. Try cleaning your home with intent to find recyclables to help go green this Earth Day!
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