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What Is Physical Activity?

Physical activity is any body movement that works your muscles and requires more energy than resting. Walking, running, dancing, swimming, yoga, and gardening are a few examples of physical activity.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services' "2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans," physical activity generally refers to movement that enhances health.

Exercise is a type of physical activity that's planned and structured. Lifting weights, taking an aerobics class, and playing on a sports team are examples of exercise.

Physical activity is good for many parts of your body. This article focuses on the benefits of physical activity for your heart and lungs. The article also provides tips for getting started and staying active, and it discusses physical activity as part of a heart healthy lifestyle.

Outlook

Being physically active is one of the best ways to keep your heart and lungs healthy. Following a healthy diet and not smoking are other important ways to keep your heart and lungs healthy.

Many Americans are not active enough. The good news, though, is that even modest amounts of physical activity are good for your health. The more active you are, the more you will benefit.

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Physical Activity and Your Heart Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Physical Activity and Your Heart, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.


Physical Activity and Your Heart in the News

November 8, 2013
NIH and the Children's Museum of Manhattan launch innovative program to help families create healthier futures
Through an innovative public-private partnership, the National Institutes of Health and the Children's Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) have created a new health educational curriculum — EatPlayGrow: Creative Activities for a Healthy Start — for children ages 2-5 and their parents

View all Physical Activity and Your Heart Press Releases


 
September 26, 2011 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.