Have you ever wanted to test your heart health at home? Now you can!
In addition to having a routine that takes 10 years off your face, it’s important to make sure your body is healthy on the inside too.
And while getting restorative, quality sleep plays a role in your overall health, you’ll want to try this little test to see how your heart is holding up.
The European Society of Cardiology recently released a study where they developed a method for you to test your heart health naturally, without the need for a visit to the doctor.
All you need for this test is a stopwatch, 60 seconds of time, and a staircase.
How the staircase study worked
In gathering 165 cardiovascular patients who have been diagnosed or suspected of coronary heart disease, each one was asked to walk on a treadmill as the intensity gradually increased to the point of exhaustion.
Many of the patients had noted that during regular exercise they felt a shortness of breath or even chest pains. Once on the point of exhaustion, researchers measured the “exercise capacity” via metabolic equivalents (METs).
When using metabolic equivalents during activity the oxygen that an individual uses during that time is measured.
On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest, those that scored higher were more likely to be in shape and suffer less from cardiovascular issues.
After the treadmill evaluation, the patients were allowed to rest for 15-20 minutes, and then they were instructed to complete 4 flights of stairs which are equal to 60 steps individually, as quickly as they possibly could.
The researchers once again measured their metabolic equivalents, as well as any patterns of irregular heartbeats that occurred within either test, and then compared the tests side-by-side.
The results of this cardiovascular study were between the two experimental phases allotted, both were able to show a correlation in metabolic equivalents and cardiovascular health.
Due to this, it was determined that those who were able to complete the staircase challenge in less than one minute had a higher amount of metabolic equivalents.
While those who took longer than a minute may have some work to do in bettering their heart health as those with lower METs are more likely to experience cardiovascular issues and they have a higher mortality rate.
The importance of a strong cardiovascular system
Taking care of your heart, lungs, and blood vessels throughout your cardiovascular system sets the stage for how the rest of your body will function.
Your cardiovascular system is responsible for transferring oxygen throughout the body, the efficiency of the transportation of blood to vital organs, as well as your blood pressure regulation, and reduces your chances of high cholesterol and coronary heart disease.
By having adequate or above heart health, you are able to better your overall health, elongate your life, and provide the stability needed for the rest of your body to function properly.
How to strengthen your heart health
Now that you know the importance of having a strong cardiovascular system, this is how you can improve yours at home after taking the staircase challenge:
- Have a heart-healthy diet: Eat foods that are low in sugar, trans fat, and saturated fat, limit your salt, and eat as many vegetables and high fiber foods that you can
- Exercise regularly: Implement a routine of at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense activity each day and walk whenever you possibly can
- Get some sleep: Make sure that you’re getting consistent sleep each night to reduce your blood pressure and anxiety levels
Each of the above are able to help you increase your blood flow and create a healthier environment for your heart and body to function within.
Now that researchers have found a way for your to test your heart health at home, what are you waiting for?
Grab your stopwatch, find the nearest set of stairs, and get going!
Once you find out your time, if it’s under 60 seconds, you’re good to go! If not, let’s get starting on making some lifestyle changes to improve your overall health and wellbeing!
European Society of Cardiology. “Test your heart health by climbing stairs.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/12/201211083104.htm>.