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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Get Active


Finding time in our overscheduled lives for exercise is a challenge for all busy Americans. Especially for those who are parents or are working full-time or both. But the benefits far outweigh the sacrifices it takes to carve out that time. And anyone who has successfully managed to do so will tell you how happy they are to have found the time. They’ll tell you how much more energy they have, and how they are actually able to do more than before they started getting regular exercise. So no more excuses! Take an active role in determining your future. You deserve to give yourself the gift of living well with good health.

Why is Getting Active So Important?
The facts are clear: By exercising for as little as 30 minutes each day you can reduce your risk of heart disease. Without regular physical activity, the body slowly loses its strength and ability to function well. Physical activity = living a longer, healthier life.

Regular Physical Activity Helps:
Lower blood pressure, increase HDL “good” cholesterol in your blood, control blood sugar by improving how your body uses insulin, reduce feelings of stress, control body weight and make you feel good about yourself.

American Heart Association Guidelines
We suggest at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise. Or a combination of moderate and vigorous. Physical activity is anything that makes you move your body and burns calories, such as climbing stairs or playing sports. Aerobic exercises benefit your heart, such as walking, jogging, swimming or biking. Strength and stretching exercises are best for overall stamina and flexibility.

To increase physical activity in your lifestyle try:

  • Parking further away from your destination
  • Take short walks throughout the workday
  • Try active-play video games with your friends and family. Learn more about how Nintendo and American Heart Association have teamed up to get Americans moving through active play.
The simplest, positive change you can make to effectively improve your heart health is to start walking. It’s enjoyable, free, easy, social and great exercise. Check out the Start Walking program to get going with expert advice.

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