Healthy Tip: Sustainable physical activity

Healthy Tip: Sustainable physical activity

HEART Research UK Tip for a healthy heart, written by Heart Research UK’s health promotion and education team

Healthy heart tip: Sustainable physical activity

It’s well known that exercise helps us stay healthy, but around 34% of men and 42% of women don’t get enough exercise. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 35% and we should all aim for that. The key word is “regular” While trying new activities that temporarily increase our physical activity level is beneficial, we need to find ways to incorporate exercise and regular physical activity into our daily routine. Here are some tips that might help.

To pledge oneself

Committing to a weekly (or multiple) exercise class allows you to stay active when motivation wanes. If attending a paid class isn’t an option, ask a few local friends or neighbors to form an exercise group with you. Set aside the same amount of time each week to be active together, this can be something as simple as going for a walk or jog. The main thing is commitment. When you set aside time for your week, it’s easier to reach your activity goals.

Identify opportunities

Daily life usually gives us opportunities to get more exercise, but in today’s modern world we find elevators and escalators with stairs in most places, and driving instead of walking has become the norm. View your weekly activities and find out how you can be more active while going about your daily tasks. That might be taking the stairs at a mall, or parking a little further away from work and walking the rest of the way.

know how much

Adults should aim to be physically active for 150 minutes each week, which equates to 20-30 minutes a day. Other activities like cleaning and gardening can count towards our exercise goals. Don’t just think about sweating in a gym and let that put you off, redesign even the most mundane activities like vacuuming and appreciate them for helping us stay healthy.

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