We know that with work, your kids’ schedules and family commitments, it can be tough to find time to exercise. However, recent research gives us another reason to put your heart health first by getting regular exercise. Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, shares how we can make time for exercise for our heart and overall health.

Why is exercise so important for our health?

Nurse Rose: New research shows that lack of physical activity can be just as dangerous for your heart and overall health as smoking. Regular exercise can reduce your risk for heart disease down the road with these benefits.

  • Improved circulation
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Boosting your mood and cutting stress

What are some ways to ensure we get enoughe exercise? 

Nurse Rose: Try these tips to find the time to exercise and commit to your heart health.

  • Know yourself. Be realistic about your preferences and time constraints. If you’re not a morning person, don’t schedule a 5 a.m. workout.
  • Block it out. Decide on the type of activity or exercise routine you’ll do and block it off on your calendar.
  • Use your lunch break. If you have a job where your schedule allows for it, take a walk around the neighborhood or your building, hit the gym or do body weight exercises like jumping jacks, push-ups or high-knees.
  • Take it to the streets. Try walking to nearby activities or park a few blocks away from your destination for added exercise.
  • Track your steps. Whether you have a fitness watch or basic pedometer, aim for 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day.

 How much exercise does the typical adult need?

Nurse Rose: To stay heart healthy and reduce your risk for heart disease, the American Heart Association recommends:

  • At least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, or
  • 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, in addition to
  • Two days per week of strength-training activity.

What’s the difference between moderate vs. intense exercise?

Nurse Rose: Moderate-intensity activities might include:

  • Brisk walking
  • Water aerobics
  • Dancing
  • Gardening
  • Biking slower than 10 mph

Vigorous-intensity activities might include:

  • Hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack
  • Running
  • Swimming laps
  • Aerobic dancing
  • Heavy yard work
  • Cycling 10 mph or faster
  • Jumping rope
Rose Melendez, RN

Rose Melendez, RN

Head of Emergency Department

Rose Melendez, RN is the head of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center. Tune into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. to listen to Nurse Rose live on the radio.

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