Every April, the American Heart Association celebrates Move More Month to try and get people to improve their heart health through exercise. While the pandemic has disrupted many people’s exercise routines, there are still ways to stay active. Even small amounts of exercise can lead to significant health benefits.
The recommended amount of exercise a week is at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. Here are some ways you can boost your activity level even with a busy schedule:
- Walk and talk: If you are occupied with work calls, make it a habit to walk while you talk.
- Park further away: By parking farther away, you can get in those extra steps while avoiding parking stress.
- Take the stairs: This is a simple way you can get your heart rate up. Even if it is just a floor or two, every step counts!
- Try this 10-Minute Workout: You can do each exercise for about 30 seconds with 30 seconds of cardio between exercises.
Did you know that:
- 10 minutes of stretching is like walking the length of a football field.
- 2.5 hours of walking every week for a year is like walking the state of Wyoming.
- Dancing for an hour each week is like walking from Chicago to Indianapolis.
- 20 minutes of vacuuming is like walking a mile.
Benefits of Exercising
A government study estimates that nearly 80 percent of adult Americans do not get the recommended amounts of exercise each week, potentially setting themselves up for years of health problems. There are countless reasons why exercising on a regular basis improves your health. Some benefits of exercising include:
- Promotes better sleep
- Combats against health conditions and diseases such as stroke, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, arthritis and heart disease.
- Improves mood
- Increases your energy
- Improves blood flow (circulation)
- Boosts your levels of good cholesterol
Check with Your Doctor & Get Started Today!
Checking with your doctor before exercising is never a bad idea, depending on your condition(s) there could be some important precautions you need to take. They will also be able to provide recommendations with pain reduction and necessary dietary adjustments. If you feel nervous starting alone, you might want to consider a group exercise program. You might also find condition-specific programs at your local hospital or clinic.