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 January 19, 2011. Accessed September 24, 2012.
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 September 24, 2012.
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 March 30, 2011. Accessed September 24, 2012.
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 September 24, 2012.
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. Updated August 21, 2009. Accessed September 24, 2012.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 09/24/2012 -