Heart Health, Part 2: Be Physically Active
Regular physical activity is not only important for overall health and general well-being, but it also is essential to heart disease prevention. Experts recommend aiming for 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. More specifically, you should get at least 2 ½ hours of physical activity each week, which equates to 30 minutes (or more) a day for 5 days per week. But if you find it difficult to carve out this amount of time each day, as many people do, you should take solace in knowing that there are other ways to achieve your goal. Here are some ideas for being physically active.
Try engaging in physical activity in smaller increments of time, like 10 or 15 minutes, several times per day. Some physical activity throughout a day is better than none. When you “move more” every day, you can improve your heart health over time.
Try a new activity each day for the month of February. Then keep up the momentum and make your favorites part of your regular routine for the rest of the year.
Incorporate activities into your daily schedule, including work. For example, have walking meetings with your co-workers, add a stretch break to your business calendar to increase your flexibility and give your mind some time to rest, or give the elevator a day off and take the stairs to your work destination. You could also challenge your employer to participate in a “steps” contest. Use activity trackers to see which team takes the most steps.
Join an exercise class with a relative or neighbor or start a walking club in your neighborhood. Like eating healthy, studies show that people with family or friends who support their efforts to be physically active are more likely to be successful.
Contact your local parks and recreation centers for classes and other low-cost activities you can do with your friends and family members.
Check out some common barriers to physical activity and solutions for overcoming them from the American Heart Association (AHA).
Share because you care! Share this blog with your family members and friends. Let us (Biophilia Partners) know how you’re achieving your goals of preventing heart disease.
We would like to acknowledge the NHLBI and AHA for their content that significantly contributed to this blog. We encourage you to follow them on twitter @NIH_NHLBI and @American_Heart for heart healthy tips and resources during American Heart Month.