St Pete Healthy News


Heart Health Month

How to Have a Happy Heart

By Erin Fitzgerald, Health Program Specialist


Each year heart disease kills more than 600,000 Americans and is the leading cause of death in the United States. Heart disease is preventable by incorporating healthy lifestyle habits. Building a strong heart is one of the best things you can do by incorporating exercise in your routine! People who don’t exercise are twice as likely to develop heart disease than those who exercise regularly. Experts recommend aiming for 150 minutes of moderate activity weekly.


Here are four types of exercises you can try this month to take care of your heart health.



Speed walking is a great way to exercise your heart. Walking can increase your heart rate while also being easier on your joints. Add a short walk during your lunch break, park further away from entrances, or get together with a friend for socialization and exercise. Need a walking buddy? Check out our  Neighborhood Walks program.


Strength Training

Not only is strength training optimal for muscle and bone health, but it is also beneficial for heart health! Some of the most effective strength training exercises can be done utilizing your own body weight. Push-ups, squats, lunges, and pull-ups all contribute to building strong hearts. Check out the Fun Fitness Boot Camp program for a free, outdoor strength training class.



Swimming is a great way to incorporate a full-body workout while being easier on the joints. Swimming is an optimal form of exercise for those looking for low-impact exercise options. Need a pool to get those laps in? The St Petersburg Parks and Recreation department has nine pools available to the public and three are open year-round. Find out more about the many Pool locations.



Stress can pose a risk for heart attacks and stroke due to prolonged high blood pressure. Stress can also lead to cardiovascular disease risks like smoking, overeating, and leading a sedentary lifestyle. Yoga is a great way build strong muscles while also incorporating mindfulness to reduce blood pressure. Find out more information about our free Yoga in the Park program.


However you choose to incorporate movement, your heart will be happy!