The Truth about Exercise and Heart Health

February 17, 2014

Ready to get fit and heart healthy?


We all know that exercise is encouraged for all Americans, but how much is enough, and what type of exercise is best for you? In general, the American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise at least 5 days per week, or at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75; or a combination of the two. The AHA also recommends moderate to high intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 or more days per week for additional health benefits. 

“In life, it’s not where you start but where you finish,” said Dr. Evans Mize of Hillside Hospital. “Physical activity leads to increased energy and better cardiovascular health, but more than 80% of Americans do not make exercise a regular habit.”

So how do you make sure you are not part of the majority of those who don’t make exercise a priority? Here are 3 tips on making exercise a habit, not a chore.

  1. Don’t Go It Alone – when we make ourselves accountable to others, we are more apt to stick to our goals. If you are meeting a friend for a run, you have someone depending on you. So getting up early on a cold morning to run is easier if someone else is doing it with you.
  2. Use Technology As A Motivator - Tracking your progress through an app like Streaks, an app that helps you turn goals into habits, or adopting one of the new UP24 bands, a devise that you wear as a bracelet that tracks your sleeping, movement, food and exercise habits. Both of which keep your daily interactions top of mind.
  3. Make Exercise a Part of You – Don’t change your life for exercise, work exercise into your life. If we have to drive out of our way to a gym, or commit to morning runs and we are not a morning person, chances are exercise is going to be something we do not enjoy or prioritize.
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