Heart-Healthy Living
Heart-Healthy Living

Heart-Healthy Living Get Regular Physical Activity

Regular physical activity can:

  • Help you lose excess weight
  • Improve physical fitness
  • Lower many heart disease risk factors such as “bad” LDL cholesterol  levels, increase “good” HDL cholesterol levels, and manage high blood pressure
  • Lower stress and improve your mental health
  • Lower your risk for other conditions such as type 2 diabetes, depression, and cancer

Talk with your healthcare provider before you start a new exercise plan. Discuss how much and what types of physical activity are safe for you. Even modest amounts of physical activity are good for your health.

This video shows how small changes you make throughout the day can help you get more physical activity.

Aerobic exercise benefits your heart and lungs the most. This is any exercise in which your heart beats faster and you use more oxygen than usual, such as brisk walking, running, biking, and swimming.

The more active you are, the more you benefit.

Participate in aerobic exercise for at least a few minutes at a time throughout the week. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that each week, adults get at least:

  • 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, or
  • 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or
  • A combination of both moderate-intensity and vigorous-intensity activity.

Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Some physical activity is better than none.  

Physical Activity and Your Heart has more information.

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