PUT YOUR HEART INTO GETTING ACTIVE
Heart disease is the #1 killer of American women, and physical inactivity is one of several major risk factors. So put your heart into getting active. Here are 5 tips to get you going.
1. You Don’t Have to Spend All Day at the Gym
Aim for a total of 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week— spending at least 10 minutes at a time. This level of activity can reduce your risk for heart disease and your chances of developing other risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and being overweight. Other lifestyle benefits include providing energy, reducing stress, and building confidence.
2. There Are No Good Excuses
You can get active throughout the day. Take walks at work instead of coffee breaks, or just do more of what you already love—biking, dancing, and gardening all count.
3. A Complete Program Has Three Types of Activity
1) Aerobic activity like brisk walking, jogging, or biking gets your heart rate up. 2) Resistance training (like doing pushups) firms, strengthens, and tones muscles. 3) Flexibility exercises stretch and lengthen muscles so you’re more flexible—think yoga or tai chi.
4. Choose Activities that Suit Your Style While some people like to exercise alone, others benefit from the support of group classes or team sports. Whether indoors or outdoors, find what works for you and get your most vigorous physical activity at the time of day you feel most energetic, so you’ll stick with it.
5. Once You Get Active, Make Sure You Stay Active
If you get bored with an activity, try something new by joining a gym or the YMCA. Set short- and long-term goals to become more physically active, and plan ahead by scheduling your physical routines into your day—that way, you’ll make it a priority. Find out more about getting active and living a heart healthier lifestyle by visiting www.hearttruth.gov.
The Heart Truth, its logo, and The Red Dress are registered trademarks of HHS.
NIH Publication No. 13-7938
Last Updated: October 30, 2013