5 Steps to Heart Health Through Exercise

Exercise is one of the best ways to prevent heart disease.  See more heart health pictures.
Kraig Scarbinksy/Photodisc/Thinkstock

Realistically, most of us aren't going to be Olympic athletes, but that doesn't mean you can't benefit hugely from exercise. For cardiac health, exercise is one of the cheapest and most effective heart disease prevention and treatment methods available. Regular exercise can help lower blood pressure, control triglyceride and LDL (or "bad") cholesterol levels, prevent diabetes, and help you quit smoking and overeating.

And just a little bit goes a long way -- even 30 minutes three times a week of moderate activity (such as walking) has been shown to lower mortality rates.

But most of us already know exercise is good for us. It's actually doing it that's the hard part. The reasons behind not exercising range from thinking it's too hard to being tired to the biggest culprit of all -- not enough time. (We contend that if you have time to browse the Internet, you probably have time to exercise.)

In the next few pages, we'll go over simple ways of getting around some of these obstacles and how to set up a plan that'll work for your lifestyle.