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Get Active, Get Fit, Get Heart Healthy!

Are you “Heart Healthy”? One of the best ways to reduce the risk of any heart-related disease is to lead an active lifestyle. Building an exercise plan can help you stay active, track goals and keep you motivated. Does the thought of starting a routine overwhelm you? You don’t have to start running a marathon to be “Heart Healthy”! As little as 30 minutes of light exercise a day can and will benefit your well-being.

Benefits of Physical Activity

Creating an exercise program is a great way to plan time with your friends and family. Establishing healthy habits with your children can reduce their risk of obesity and heart issues in the future. The American Heart Association gives the following as benefits of physical activity:

  • Improves blood circulation
  • Weight loss or control of weight gain
  • Improves blood cholesterol levels
  • Prevents and manages high blood pressure
  • Prevents bone loss
  • Boosts energy level
  • Releases tension
  • Helps manage stress
  • Counters anxiety and depression
  • Increases muscle strength

Types of Physical Activity:

Light to Moderate Exercise

  • Walking
  • Cleaning
  • Yard Work
  • Gardening
  • Climbing stairs
  • Dancing

Aerobic Exercise:

  • Hiking
  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Tennis
  • Jump Roping

While light to moderate exercise can provide some of the benefits listed above, aerobic exercise activities are ideal in improving the fitness of your heart. Lower your blood pressure and help prevent heart disease by doing some aerobic exercise 3 or 4 times a week for 30 to 60 minutes.

Tips on How to Get Moving

  • Walk or bike around town instead of driving.
  • Take activity breaks instead of snack breaks.
  • Listen to music or watch television while you exercise.
  • Create a support system of friends and family who will encourage you.
  • Set realistic goals and give yourself rewards as your achieve your goals.
  • Plan vacations around activities such as hiking or swimming.
  • Park your car at the back of the lot when grocery shopping to give yourself a longer walk.

These tips will help to get you started while a personalized plan by your healthcare provider will get you on track to becoming “Heart Healthy”. Visit www.st-claire.org/appointment to schedule an appointment with a St. Claire HealthCare provider.