Express Eight Q&A with Board President, Dr. Rickelman

February and Heart Month are coming to a close, but obviously heart health requires constant attention. What are some tips you’d offer people about personal changes they can make to improve their cardiovascular health?

The biggest to me is to move. People need to exercise for exercise sake. The simplest place to start is to walk. The common excuse I hear is there is no time. So start with small time increments. Five minutes, three times a day is still 15 minutes of walking.

Dr. Rickelman

Hospitalist at Northeast Regional Medical Center & NEMO Heart Health Board President, Dr. John Rickelman

A person has to make a commitment to themselves. I also believe in resistance training. Making our muscles stronger makes them more efficientnt and decreases the stress on the heart that daily exertion might cause. Finding a way to incorporate resistance training into a daily program should also be a priority. The simplest movement I encourage patients to do is the ‘sit to stand’ movement. Sit in a chair, clasp your hands together and very slowly stand yourself up without assistance. This works the major muscles of the legs and if a person gets to the point they can do this 10 times with minimal effort, their walking distance improves.

In the end it’s about investing in oneself and one’s own health. Exercise is a key component to anyone’s health. Of course before starting any program, especially if you have major chronic diseases, you should speak with your doctor or other health care provider.

Curious what NEMO Heart Health has been up to lately? Want to know more about the AEDs that are located in the Northeast Missouri community? Click here to read more!