Heart Healthy Physical Activity
An Ounce of Prevention…
- Improve physical abilities by:
- Improving the heart’s ability to pump blood
- Increasing energy levels
- Increasing muscle strength and endurance
- Improving agility
- Change physical appearance by:
- Toning your muscles which gives you a tighter appearance
- Burning calories which helps with weight loss or maintenance
- Improve overall wellness by:
Where to Start
- 30-60 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week (total of at least 150 minutes/week)
- Include some strength activities at least 2 times/week
Make It Stick
- Find an exercise partner. You are less likely to skip the activity if someone is waiting for you.
- Write it down. Keep a log of your activities and how much you accomplished either by distance or time. It will help keep you honest.
- A long-term goal is fine, but also make short-term goals, because they provide quicker feedback.
- Plan it out. Find a time in your daily routine when you can regularly fit the activity in.
- Consider doing your activity in 10-minute spurts throughout the day. Spurts can be as effective as being active for 30 minutes straight.
- Be flexible. Life happens and you may find that you need to make adjustments to your routine. A rigid schedule and goal may not be worth the stress. Keep an open mind to new activities and schedules.
Make It Count
American College of Sports Medicine http://www.acsm.org
American Heart Association http://www.heart.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
American Heart Association guidelines for physical activity. American Heart Association website. Available: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/StartWalking/American-Heart-Association-Guidelines-for-Physical-Activity%5FUCM%5F307976%5FArticle.jsp. Updated September 10, 2014. Accessed October 22, 2014.
Guide to physical activity. National Heart and Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/lose%5Fwt/phy%5Fact.htm. Accessed October 22, 2014.
Haskel W, et al. Physical activity and public health, updated recommendations for adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Circ. 2007;116(9):1081.
How much physical activity do you need? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/index.html. Updated August 25, 2014. Accessed October 22, 2014.
Promoting physical activity with a public health approach. American College of Sports Medicine website. Available at: http://www.acsm.org/about-acsm/media-room/acsm-in-the-news/2011/08/01/promoting-physical-activity-with-a-public-health-approach. Accessed October 22, 2014.
2008 physical activity guidelines for Americans. United States Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx. Accessed October 22, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 10/2014 -
- Update Date: 10/22/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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