One of the many components of living a heart-healthy lifestyle is to exercise. Exercise is crucial for maintaining a healthy heart.

Regular exercise is proven to have a number of physical and mental health benefits, including:

  • Improved circulation
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke
  • Boosting your mood and cutting stress
  • Potential for weight loss

For a healthy heart, the American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least three to five days a week, or 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least three days a week for a total of 75 minutes.

“If you are just starting to get into the swing of a new exercise routine, don’t push yourself past what feels right for your body,” said Lauren Conley, an exercise physiologist. “Everybody has to start somewhere. Consider managing your exercise routine by breaking it up throughout the day.”

For example, start by walking at 15-minute intervals twice per day. You can do this type of exercise anywhere and it’s a great way to explore your surroundings.

Try these fun activities if you’re looking for a high-intensity cardio workout

  • Running
  • Cycling – outdoors or indoors on a stationary bike or in a spin class
  • Dancing – solo or in a group class like Zumba
  • Swimming

If getting to the gym is tough for you, there are many daily activities also count as physical activity. Clean your house, garden, or play an active game like tag or capture the flag with your kids.

“The key to reaping the benefits of exercise is to maintain a consistent routine, regardless of what activity you choose,” adds Lauren.

No matter what activity you choose, it’s sure to boost your heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease in the long run!

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