Exercise Your Heart in 5 Easy Ways!
Exercise is a critical step toward achieving and maintaining a healthy heart. In fact, coupled with mindful eating, exercise is one of the most important factors in preventing heart disease and improving overall well-being. Understanding fitness basics and implementing easy moves throughout the day can greatly impact physical activity and heart health.
The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of heart-pumping physical activity per week – that’s just over 20 minutes per day! However, according to their studies, only one in every five adults achieve the recommended amount of exercise at the correct level of intensity to maintain good health. Some of the most frequently asked questions by adults are how to get started, what to do and how to maintain.
Recommendations for adults include:
- Sit less. If you are sedentary, sitting less is a great place to start! The American Heart Association cites the link of being inactive and sitting too much with higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon and lung cancers, and early death. Therefore, spending less time sitting and even just participating in light-intensity activity like walking can offset some heart and health risks. Try scheduling plenty of opportunities to stand throughout the day.
- Strengthen your muscles. Adding moderate- to the high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity, such as resistance or weights, at leas two days per week can improve overall health and well-being.
- Set a goal of 150 minutes per week. As mentioned, achieving at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity spread throughout the week promotes good health. Moderate-intensity aerobic activity could be brisk walking, dancing, gardening, biking, or doubles tennis.
- Gradually increase amount over time. You can gain even more benefits by being active for at least 300 minutes (5 hours) per week.
- Increase intensity over time. Looking to sweat? Set a goal of 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week instead! When ready, challenge yourself with uphill hiking, running, swimming, heavy yardwork, cycling or jumping rope.
Being active benefits everyone and helps us live longer, healthier lives. Exercise lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia and Alzheimer’s, several types of cancer, and some complications of pregnancy. It promotes better sleep, improves cognition, increases bone health, reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety, and offers a greater quality of life and overall sense of well-being. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get moving!