As February comes to an end and spring is hopefully right around the corner, I would like to wrap up our “Heart Health Month” series by posting a review of what we have covered so far as well as give you a list of the best heart healthy exercises you can do.

So far we have covered heart risk factors: age, gender, heredity, race and viral heart conditions.  Controllable risk factors: diet, physical activity, tobacco use, obesity, medication management and sleep.  Finally, we listed some great heart healthy gifts: fruit basket, couples massage, gym bag, sports clothing, smoothie blender…just to name a few.

Just by making 1 – 2 changes in your daily routine can make all the difference in your overall heart health.  While any exercise can help boost your wellness, these 5 will aid in strengthening your heart health, keep your heart healthy or get you on your way to a heart healthy lifestyle.



  1. Swimming:  The non-impact workout is an excellent way to build heart health while being gentle on your joints. Pushing yourself through the water not only burns calories but also raises your heart rate and gives you a great resistance workout. Muscle strength and toning are added side effects of a good swimming regiment.
  2. Brisk Walking:  Walking is the most natural form of exercise and even a 15-minute walk can benefit your heart health. Walking briskly will not only boost your aerobic activity but can be a great alternative to running. This basic activity is also a great idea if you don’t have time to get to a gym or commit to a routine.
  3. Cycling:  Easier on the joints, cycling is a low impact workout that builds cardiovascular strength. Both indoor and outdoor cycling can give you benefits. Biking to run errands, go to work, or with friends can build heart health and it can also tone your lower body while also strengthening your core.
  4. Running:  For those who can stand a higher impact workout, running is a great way to torch calories and boost cardio strength (a 150-pound person burns an average of 100 calories per mile). You heart will thank you for this great workout, as it can help you to lose weight and reduce risk of heart disease. Even better? You don’t need a gym to run, just a little motivation and a great outdoor route.
  5. Interval Training: Interval training mixes in lighter workouts with heavier sets of exercises. For example, circuit/interval training incorporates cycles, like doing 3 minutes of cardio (such as running, walking, elliptical, biking) followed by 1 minute of high-intensity burst of cardio or a strength-training. Mixing up your routine boosts your heart rate, burns calories, and tones your body. As a result, your cardio strength builds, and your heart is kept healthy and strong.

In addition to a healthy and strong heart, exercise can also provide other added benefits including lowering blood pressure, reducing body fat, reducing stress, and improving circulation, just to name a few. If you don’t know where to start, lack motivation or just need a new routine, feel free to contact us at Bodyrich Fitness Company 678-417-0880 ext. 8301 / info@atlantapersonalfitness.com.

Paula Jamieson

Bodyrich Fitness Company

Certified Personal Trainer & Fitness Nutritionist





With Valentine’s Day right around the corner the pressure is on…what should I buy/do for my sweetheart?  If you are looking for a more healthy and unique idea this year in lieu of candy, flowers or a dinner out, check out some of these heart and health conscious ideas:


  • Fruit Gift Basket
  • Foot Spa Bag
  • Sports Clothing/Workout Outfit
  • GPS Watch or Fitness Band (i.e. Fitbit, Bodybug, Vivofit)
  • Couples Massage
  • Winter Hike and Picnic
  • MP3 Player (i.e. IPod Shuffle)
  • ITunes Card (for new workout music)
  • Nice Headphones (i.e. Yurbuds)
  • Fitness Videos (i.e. yoga, P90X, T25)
  • Yoga Mat
  • Personalized Reusable Water Bottle
  • Fitness & Health Magazine Subscriptions
  • New Gym Bag
  • Smoothie Blender (i.e. Nutra Bullet or Ninja)
  • Aroma Therapy Bath Kit and Candles
  • Indoor Herb Garden (in lieu of flowers)
  • European Dark Chocolates (70%+ cocoa – if you must do chocolates)
  • Personal Training Sessions* (Bodyrich Fitness Company)

*SWEETHEART SPECIAL (offer valid through February 28, 2015)

Three 30 minute one-on-one personal training sessions – $35.00 (new clients only)

For information contact us at 678-417-0880 ext. 8301 / info@atlantapersonalfitness.com


Paula Jamieson

Bodyrich Fitness Company

Personal Trainer & Fitness Nutritionist











During the month of February, Americans see the heart as the symbol of love but February is not all about heart shaped candies and Cupid, it is also American Heart Month.  Though it is a great time to let your loved ones know how much you care about them, it is also a good time to show yourself the love and learn about your risks for heart disease and stay “heart healthy” for yourself and your loved ones.

According to the CDC and American Heart Association, Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the number one killer of women and men in the United States and is a leading cause of disability preventing Americans from working and enjoying family activities. While some risk factors are uncontrollable, there are many risk factors that can be controlled and/or prevented.


  • Age – More than 83% of heart related deaths are in people ages 65+
  • Gender – Men automatically have a higher risk
  • Heredity – If you have a close relative that has CVD, high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity you have a higher risk
  • Race – African-American, Native-American, Mexican-American and Native Hawaiians have been found to be at a higher risk of CVD than other races.   Studies show they often have other underlying health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes which contributes to this increase.
  • Viral Heart Conditions – Viral infections can cause inflammation (a condition called Myocarditis).  Usually, this is no problem but in rare occurrences, it can cause weakening or damage to the heart.

Though these are some factors we cannot change, here are some ways that we can take control of our heart health.


  • Diet – Eat at healthy, well balanced diet:  4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats and limit sugary, fatty and processed foods.  Limit alcohol intake.
  • Physical Activity – Moderate to high intensity movement 30 minutes at least 5 days a week.  Even little things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, rake the yard instead of using a leaf blower, park in the furthest parking spaces, etc.  Also, find a friend to workout with – exercising with a buddy can help your mood and keeps you accountable.
  • Tobacco – Smoking – just don’t (or quit – it is never too late)
  • Obesity – Maintain a healthy weight and BMI (body mass index) – if need be, get a doctor’s assistance.
  • Medication Management – If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes keep in close contact with your physician and take your medications as directed.  Keeping these other diseases in check and greatly reduce your changes of CVD.
  • Sleep – Try to keep good sleep patterns and get 7 – 8 hours of sleep every day

When trying to become more heart conscious and healthy, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed.  Even addressing 1 – 2 of these risk factors can make a huge difference in your health and reduce your risk of CVD.  Also, if you need assistance in weight management or just need some encouragement and direction to get started with a heart healthy exercise regime, our certified professional trainers and fitness nutritionist are here to help.  For information contact us at 678-417-0880 ext. 8301 / info@atlantapersonalfitness.com

Paula Jamieson

Bodyrich Fitness Company

Certified Personal Trainer & Fitness Nutritionist