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Stay Heart-Healthy in Fall

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Simply taking a brisk walk every day can pay real dividends in keeping your heart healthy and your blood pressure and cholesterol in check. Credit: sborisov/iStockPhoto.com
Simply taking a brisk walk every day can pay real dividends in keeping your heart healthy and your blood pressure and cholesterol in check. Credit: sborisov/iStockPhoto.com
October 12, 2015

MILWAUKEE – Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons in Wisconsin with the brilliant colors of the changing leaves, but for many people the colder weather often means life becomes a lot less active.

Dr. Joshua Liberman, a cardiologist at Columbia St. Mary's Hospital in Milwaukee, says he sees the effect of the changing seasons in his practice.

"People are quite active in the summer but then they sort of go into hibernation mode and unfortunately we see the ill effects of that on their health,” he explains. “Sugar numbers rise up, blood pressure goes up, cholesterol numbers get worse."

Even if someone hasn't been all that active in the summer, Liberman says it's never a bad time to begin to make simple changes that could have a huge impact.

"There is clear evidence that even if you've been sedentary for a very long time, getting out and doing even just 10 minutes a day of just easy-level walking outside can be extremely beneficial at improving your metabolism," he stresses.

Liberman says no matter what the season, there are plenty of tips on keeping your heart healthy at the American Heart Association's website, heart.org.

According to Liberman, you don't need to invest in expensive exercise equipment when the weather gets colder. Along with taking a brisk walk every day, he recommends other things that can help.

"Just making some simple changes – cutting down on fast food, trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, cutting down on things that have added sugars and salt and sodium," he points out.

Liberman says even though fresh produce is harder to come by and more expensive in the fall and winter, frozen vegetables can be very beneficial.

Although he is a big advocate of taking a walk or doing outdoor exercise in the colder weather, Liberman does have one caution for people of all ages – make sure you get your body ready.

"With our chillier temperatures coming on, I think the biggest thing to do is make sure that you warm up before engaging in any exercise,” he advises. “One of the pitfalls that people run into is that they jump outside right away and start doing an activity."


Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI