Make Physical Activity Part of Your Day

Exercise is a good way to keep in shape and also maintain a healthy heart. Our busy schedules can make it difficult to exercise regularly, but even a little bit of exercise on most days of the week can help protect your heart health.

Regular exercise can help you reach a healthy weight, increase energy, and control your blood pressure. In starting an exercise plan, it is important to:

  1. Set a goal
  2. Make a plan
  3. Keep it interesting
  4. Listen to your body

1) SET A GOAL

Text Box: AT LEAST 150 MINUTES EVERY WEEK

Do at least 150 minutes (equals 2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate physical activity a week or 75 minutes of high intensity physical activity a week to make a positive impact on your health. Set an exercise goal that works for you, some examples include:

  • 25 minutes of exercise everyday (Monday-Sunday)
  • 30 minutes of exercise 5 days out a week (Monday-Friday)
  • 50 minutes of exercise 3 days out of the week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)
  • Be sure to do at least 10 minutes of any activity

The times (morning, afternoon, evening) and days you choose to exercise on will not make a difference, it is important to make a goal you can really commit to.

2) Make a Plan

Once you have set a weekly exercise goal, make a plan for achieving your personal goal. Keep it simple, realistic, and fun!

Download a calendar you can use to make a personal exercise plan.

3) KEEP IT INTERESTING

As you begin your exercise plan and get comfortable with your exercise plan, think about increasing the number of minutes, increasing the intensity of the exercise, or adding new types of activities to your plan.



Rectangular Callout: Exercise Tip:
It is strongly recommended that you warm up before exercising and cool down after exercising 
4) LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

If you feel like you may be exercising too much or pushing yourself to do too much, slow down. Engaging in some physical activity is better than doing nothing at all.

For more information on exercise and how to safely engage in exercise, please click
http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/pdf/adultguide.pdf

Sources:

American Heart Association. Physical activity and blood pressure.http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/Physical-Activity-and-Blood-Pressure_UCM_301882_Article.jsp.

National Health, Lung, Blood Institute (NHLBI). Your Guide to lowering blood pressure, Physical Activity. Retrieved from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/hbp/prevent/p_active/p_active.htm.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. http://www.health.gov/PAGUIDELINES/guidelines/default.aspx.

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