5 Steps to Heart Health Through Exercise


Get It Where You Can

Even if you can't maintain a workout routine, or you just want to enhance your workout, here are some simple things you can do in your daily routine:

  • Park farther away in a parking lot and walk a few steps more to the entrance.
  • If you have time, walk the long way around something, instead of taking the shortest path.
  • Take a walk after dinner instead of sitting down right away.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator when you can.
  • Do a couple of crunches or pushups during commercials while watching TV.
  • Go through housework briskly to raise your heart rate.
  • Instead of sitting at a bench at the playground or in the car during sports practice waiting for your child, walk around the field, parking lot or courts.
  • Do simple exercises while sitting down at a desk or traveling, such as knee lifts, shoulder rolls or arm lifts.

You don't have to become a world-class athlete to see improvements in your physical health. But you do have to do something, do it more often, and do it consistently.

Step by Step

An easy way to incorporate more activity into your daily life is to find ways to take more steps. The average adult takes about 6,000 steps a day, according to the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

The recommendation of about 30 minutes of activity a day works out to around 10,000 steps a day, while it takes about 12,000 to 15,000 steps a day to see weight loss.

To measure how many steps you take, invest in a pedometer (they range from about $5 to $40 in price, but even the most basic pedometers should do the trick). Keep a step diary of how many steps the pedometer measures each day, and see if you can find ways to increase that number by 20 percent until you reach the recommended 10,000 steps.

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