Get More Physically Active
The American Heart Association recommends 30-minutes of moderate activity, but three 10-minute periods of activity are almost as beneficial to your overall fitness as one 30-minute session.
Physical activity boosts mental wellness.
Regular physical activity can relieve tension, anxiety, depression and anger. You may not only notice a "feel good sensation" immediately following your physical activity, but most people also note an improvement in general well-being over time during the weeks and months as physical activity becomes a part of your routine.
Physical activity improves physical wellness.
It enhances your immune system and decreases the risk of developing diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Reduced risk factors
Becoming more active can lower your blood pressure by as much as 4 to 9 mm Hg. That's the same reduction in blood pressure delivered by some antihypertensive medications. Physical activity can also boost your levels of good cholesterol.
Physical activity prolongs your optimal health.
Without regular physical activity, the body slowly loses its strength, stamina and ability to function well. Moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, for as little as 30 minutes a day has the proven health benefits listed above as well as:
- Improves blood circulation, which reduces the risk of heart disease
- Helps in the battle to quit smoking
- Improves blood cholesterol levels
- Boosts energy level
- Helps manage stress
- Releases tension
- Increases muscle strength, increasing the ability to do other physical activities
- Provides a way to share an activity with family and friends
- Reduces coronary heart disease in women by 30-40 percent
- Reduces risk of stroke by 20 percent in moderately active people and by 27 percent in highly active ones
- Establishes good heart-healthy habits in children and counters the conditions (obesity, high blood pressure, poor cholesterol levels, poor lifestyle habits, etc.) that lead to heart attack and stroke later in life
- Helps delay or prevent chronic illnesses and diseases associated with aging and maintains quality of life and independence longer for seniors
8 Easy Steps to Get More Physically Active*
- Get a partner. Find a friend to join you in becoming more active. Exercising together will provide you both with support and encouragement to stick with exercising when you get tired or discouraged.
- Take a walk every day. Start small with a short walk and gradually build up to at least 30 minutes or more each day. (Or take several fifteen-minute walks). Walking with a friend or spouse will make your walks even more enjoyable.
- Move more often. When watching television, get up and walk around or march in place during commercials. Try hiding your remote get up each time you want to change the TV channel. At work hand deliver messages to colleagues instead of using the telephone or E-mail. If you're on the phone, get up and walk around. Dance when listening to music.
- Take the stairs. Try taking the steps down (and several flights up) instead of the elevator.
- Ditch the car. Park your car several blocks away from your destination. If you use public transportation, get off before your stop and walk the rest of the way.
- Plan in advance. Include activities such as walking, golfing, hiking, bicycling, skating, or swimming in your vacation plans.
- Hydrate. Be sure to drink lots of water before, during, and after you exercise.
- Think outside the box. Try several kinds of exercise and find ones that you really enjoy.
Before you begin exercising, talk with your doctor to see if you should take any precautions.
*Information from WomenHeart WomenHeart.org