Heart disease is the main cause of death in United States, but there are plenty of ways that you can lower the risk. One effective option is adding exercise and activity to your daily routine. Try some of these tips to get moving in February and improve your heart health long after American Heart Month is over.
Follow Activity Guidelines
The Department of Health and Human Services has weekly physical activity guidelines that help provide a benchmark to shoot for.
- 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity workouts, or 75-150 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity (or a combination of the two) each week.
- Two or more days of muscle strengthening exercises of moderate or greater intensity each week.
Set Aside Daily Time to Exercise
Busy schedules make it difficult for many of us to have time to be active. Block off time on your calendar solely devoted to physical activity. It only takes 30 minutes each day to make a difference and once you’re in the habit, exercise becomes part of your daily routine.
Track How Active You Are
Using a fitness app is a great way to keep detailed records of your daily activity. But, even writing down your workouts can help. Keeping track of your exercise will show you if you’re coming up short on the weekly guidelines above. It can also serve as motivation as you try to Increase your weekly workout frequency.
Shoot for Specific Activity Goals
Try to put in 10,000 to 20,000 steps a day, set a monthly mileage goal on a recumbent bike, train for a 5K run/walk. Goals like these give you something to strive for, and take your mind off of the fact that you’re being active.
Try Something New
Switch up your regular solitary treadmill runs, by joining a running club. If you need more motivation for your cardio workouts, sign up for an indoor cycling class. If you are unsure about the proper way to strength train, hire a personal trainer or join a small group class. Finding new and interesting ways to exercisers keeps you motivated and in shape.
Partner Up With Someone That Keeps You Motivated
There is strength in numbers. Asking a friend or spouse to join you in your exercise routine can turn a daily workout into a fun social event. Having an exercise partner holds you accountable. You won’t skip a workout if someone else is counting on you to do it too.