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5 Steps to Heart Health Through Exercise

Make a Realistic Plan
Pick an activity that you can stick with.
Pick an activity that you can stick with.

Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. Break your overall goal down into smaller steps.

Make a four- to eight-week plan and chart your progress by recording when you worked out, how far and how long, and what your standing heart rate is.

Some more tips:

  • Pick an activity you know you can stick with. If you hate running, for example, there's a good chance you'll quit doing it.
  • If you can't start with 30 minutes of activity at a time, start with something you know you can do, such as 10 minutes, and add a minute more each time.
  • Make sure to stretch and warm up for 5 minutes before any extended or strenuous activity.
  • If you have physical limitations, pick an activity that accommodates them. For instance, swimming or water aerobics might be a good choice for someone with bad knees.
  • A rule of thumb to avoid overexertion: You should still be able to talk while you're exercising. But if you can sing while working out, you're probably not working hard enough.