Maintaining a Healthier Heart This Winter

January 12, 2016

With cold weather arriving, the Ursinus HEART Lab has some advice regarding eating and activity.

According to HEART Lab director Deborah Feairheller, “the governing bodies for cardiovascular health and exercise continue to recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, five days a week.”

Research student Allyson Getty ’17  is examining the vascular health changes that occur with short-term exercise programs, and offered these tips for maintaining heart health during the winter months:

  • Don’t overfill your plate. Your eyes can deceive you! Start with small portions and if you’re still hungry, you can always go back for seconds. 
  • Eat slowly and enjoy your meal. Eating slowly provides time to digest your food so that you don’t overeat and you have ample energy to spend quality time with friends and family.
  • Take healthier snacks to winter potlucks and gatherings, such as a fresh vegetable platter with hummus or sliced fruit.
  • Take time to relax, but don’t spend the entire day on the couch. Try to get some moderate physical activity every day. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go to the gym to work out. You could simply go for a walk or do something fun like ice skating.

The HEART laboratory examines the effects of lifestyle modifications on hypertension and endothelial function using diet and exercise interventions that are easily adaptable, portable (patients can do them anywhere), and aimed at improving health while reducing weight and cardiovascular risk.

There are a number of research studies that are currently being completed by Health & Exercise Physiology majors in the HEART lab. The HEART lab also performs a variety of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) screening tests.