Know your body.
It’s easy to see the physical changes that can occur on the outside, but don’t overlook what’s happening on the inside! You have the power to improve your body with simple lifestyle changes.
What are you waiting for?
Getting started seems to be the hardest hurdle, but once you begin to feel the results, you might not want to stop! Boost your cardiovascular health by following The American Heart Association’s guidelines for physical activity.
Tips for meeting the guidelines:
With busy work schedules, family obligations and packed weekends, it can be difficult to get the physical activity you need. Try these tips for fitting in fitness:
- Do it in short bursts. Being physically active for 10 minutes at a time throughout the day can be just as effective as exercising for 30 minutes straight.
- Mix it up. Combine moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity. For example, you can walk briskly for 30 minutes twice a week and jog at a higher intensity on two other days.
- Set your schedule. Walk during your lunch hour or hit the pavement right after dinner. The key is to set aside specific days and times for exercise and make it part of your routine.
- The gym isn’t a necessity. A pair of athletic shoes and a little motivation are all you need to live a more active, healthier life. It doesn’t take an expensive gym membership to get the physical activity you need.
- Make it a family affair. Bring your spouse, your children or a friend with you to add some fun to your exercise routine. It’s also a good way to encourage your kids to be physically active and get them committed early to a lifetime of health.
Exercise.The word is frequently used interchangeably with physical activity and makes some people want to run …. away! Physical activity does not have to be a structured, exercise program, but here’s why you should make being more physically active a top priority:
- Heart disease. Physical activity can improve many risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, increased triglyceride levels and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
- Stroke is a very serious condition most commonly caused by decreased blood supply to the brain. Regular exercise can reduce your risk of stroke.
- Type 2 diabetes. Healthy lifestyle choices can help you prevent type 2 diabetes. Even if diabetes runs in your family, diet and exercise can help you prevent the disease. And if you've already been diagnosed with diabetes, the same healthy lifestyle choices can help you prevent more serious complications.
- Obesity is an excess proportion of total body fat. Obesity is a serious health epidemic that affects the health of many Americans. Physical activity increases the body’s ability to use fat as an energy source.
Now get up off the couch and join the fight for your body — inside and out!!
Last reviewed 9/2014