Chances are, you already know that physical activity is good for you. “Sure,” you may say, “when I get out and move around, I know it helps me to feel and look better.” But you might not realize how important physical activity is to your health on a regular basis. According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health, inactive people are nearly twice as likely to develop heart disease as those who are more active. This is true even if you have no other conditions or habits that increase you risk for heart disease.
Lack of physical activity can also lead to more doctor visits, more hospitalizations and more uses of medication for different illnesses. The good news is, physical activity can protect your heart in numerous different ways. However, to get the benefits, you don’t have to run a marathon. Regular physical activity – as simple as a brisk, 30-minute walk each day – can help you reduce the risk of heart disease.
Heart disease occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle become hardened and narrowed, due to a buildup of plaque on the arteries’ inner walls. Plaque is an accumulation of fat, cholesterol and other substances. As plaque continues to build up in the arteries, blood flow to the heart is reduced.
Generally, the more intense the activity, the more time you spend doing it, the more health benefits you will receive. However, moderate-intensity activates are also excellent fitness choices. When done briskly for 30 minutes or longer on most days of the week, moderate exercises can help to condition your heart and lungs and reduce your risk of heart disease.
There are many ways to get in your 30 minutes activity each day. Get creative!
- Invite a friend for a walk.
- Go jogging with your pup.
- Take a dance class.
- Play tag with your kids.
- Ride your bike around the neighborhood.
- Head to a local indoor pool and enjoy some lap swimming or an aquatic exercise class.
- If you live in an area with snow, go cross-country skiing in a local park.
We believe in the power of health and want to help you be the healthiest you possible. Grab your spouse, a friend or your kids and start walking (or dancing or swimming…) your way to a stronger heart!Tags: heart healthy, physical activity, power of health, Strengthen your heart, way to a stronger heart