The Heart House is pleased to announce that we will be opening up offices in Hammonton and Woodbury in February/March 2024.

For patients interested in being seen in one of those offices, please call 856-546-3006 ext 2100 and leave a message with your information for a Heart House team member to call you back.


How Many Steps Should You Be Taking to Maintain Your Heart Health?

woman with pink athletic shoes walking on a path with sun setting

We’re often told that walking a certain number of steps is good for our health. To be sure, any exercise, the more vigorous, the better (within limits), does wonders for cardiovascular maintenance. But is there a magic number of steps we should take every day, and will it make a difference? Some websites and personal trainers will tell you that 7,500 steps or less are enough, while others won’t budge at anything less than 12,000. That variance is significant if you figure 10,000 steps are about 5 miles.

Ultimately, there are two essential things to remember when performing any exercise, including walking.

First, you should only do as much exercise as you can physically handle. If you are recovering from a cardiovascular event, like a heart attack, stroke, or surgery, you may be at a diminished capacity to exercise early on. It will be tempting to push yourself, but you should only do so under the supervision of your medical team and cardiologists. Pushing yourself too hard can lead to follow-on effects that could directly or peripherally affect your heart. The best advice here is to slowly work your way up to a higher level of intensity while keeping your medical team apprised of what you’re doing.

Second, while quantity is a good thing when it comes to exercise, quality is even better. So, when we talk about how many steps you’ve taken, it’s also about how you exert yourself during your walk that makes a difference.

The exertion will depend on the terrain you are walking on, and any inclines along your path. For example, if you live near the beach, walking on sand gives that added resistance that can make your exercise much more intense. Walking on fluffy, dry sand is also good for your joints as the impact with the ground is cushioned. Walking on an incline, for example, hiking up a hill, is also excellent for you, as each step requires more effort than walking on a flat surface.

What’s the Answer?

You probably see where we are going with this. If you are walking flat on grass or concrete, then 10,000 or 12,000 steps is perhaps appropriate if you can tolerate it. However, adding resistance to your walk will require fewer steps to get the same benefits and exertion level.

How to Measure Your Steps

Often, patients who start a step-based exercise regimen become discouraged because they don’t seem to achieve their goals. Usually, they use a pedometer or phone to track the steps. However, we rarely take these with us everywhere we go. To get a more accurate step count over your day, consider using a wearable, such as a Fitbit or an Apple Watch, and get a precise tally. New Apple Watches even have a built-in EKG feature. But check with your cardiologist about utilizing wearables for Afib detection.

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every heart patient. Instead, you must find your right exertion level and adjust your exercises accordingly. Do not exercise to the point where you feel dizzy, are so out of breath that you can’t speak, or begin experiencing pain. This means you have overdone it. If you are suffering from a cardiovascular condition or have recently had an interventional procedure, we encourage you to walk with a partner in case you need emergency help.

In the meantime, be sure to speak with your cardiologist about appropriate exercise regimens now and in the future and schedule a consultation at the Heart House.

September 9, 2020 The Heart House is Proud to be recognized in SJ Magazine’s 2020 Top Docs

The team at The Heart House is pleased to announce our providers have been recognized by SJ Magazine in their […]

Our Locations

Use the DropDown to the right to choose a location
P: (856) 546-3003

Our Locations

P: 856.795.2227
F: 856.795.7436

Our Locations

Haddon Heights
P: 856.546.3003
F: 856.547.5337

Our Locations

Washington Township
P: 856.582.2000
F: 856.582.2061

Our Locations

P: 856.358.2363
F: 856.358.0725

Our Locations

P: 856.691.8070
F: 856.691.8074

Our Locations

P: 856-546-3003
F: 856.547.5337

Our Locations

P: 856.691.8070
F: 856.691.8074