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Get Active! Start walking during American Heart Health Month

Physical activity is one of the most beneficial things you can do to improve your heart health. Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of heart disease. Adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity, 75 minutes of vigorous cardio, or a combination of both throughout the week. Sixty minutes of physical activity is recommended for kids and teens. If you are not sure where to begin, the following tips can help give you an idea of where to start.

Tips to Get Heart-Healthy

  1. Set goals. Set goals that are realistic and obtainable. Examples can include stretching more, taking the stairs when possible or waking up earlier to exercise. These small goals can help set you up for success.
  2. Keep it up. Do not stop once you reach your goals. Add more activity and intensity to improve your overall well-being. Take a gradual approach to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
  3. Take a free class. Yes, free physical activity opportunities and dance classes exist. Search for them online or in the local newspaper.
  4. Walk it out. One of the easiest ways to get more active is to start walking. Walk on your lunch break at work or when you get home. Park your car a little further away when you arrive at work. Find a walking partner to walk with you for added support.
  5. Build it up. Make physical activity a part of your daily routine. Find ways to move more throughout your day. Make every minute count, whether its work or on your way home. Turn on some music while you are cleaning your house, it will help put a little bounce in your step. While shopping, use a basket instead of a shopping cart, it is an instant weightlifting session.
  6. Schedule your activity. You are more likely to make a habit by scheduling your daily activities. Monitor your activities for one week. Find at least three 30-minute time slots you could use to be active.
  7. Enjoy it. The most important part of adding physical activity into your life is choosing an activity you enjoy that matches your abilities. Always check with your health care provider to make sure you can physically engage in the activity you choose.

Understanding how physical activity benefits your heart can be strong motivation to get moving. So, get started today. Visit www.heart.org for more information on becoming heart healthy.