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Heart Healthy Benefits of Physical Activity

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Heart Disease related image Photo: Getty Images

Just as surely as November and December are considered the winter holiday season, so January must certainly be the season of resolutions. While resolutions can take on many shapes and forms, diet and exercise frequently appear on the resolution top 10 list.

If you’re concerned about your heart health, then increasing your levels of physical activity is a win when it comes to resolutions.

Let’s face it. We are the supersize-me-couch-potato-computer-screen digital generation. Most of us spend more time in sitting in front of the computer screen, behind the wheel of a car, or in front of the television than we do exercising, walking, biking, or engaging in any type of physical activity.

As a result, the vast majority of American adults – 65 percent – are either overweight or obese. Not only are we adults supersized, but our children are rapidly joining us.

Lack of physical exercise, along with obesity, is one of the major risk factors for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes. When it comes to your health, one health problem often leads to another.

Such is the case with heart disease since stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes are also independent risk factors contributing to heart disease as well. Many of these risk factors can reduced or eliminated, and overall and heart health improved, simply by getting up and moving.

It sounds simple doesn’t it? Just get up and get moving. In actuality, getting fit and improving your heart and overall health may be easier to say than do.

The reality is that it’s harder to make time in our schedules for regular physical exercise than ever before. Between fewer jobs that require physical activity, an increase in the average work week, poor diets, and higher stress levels, finding time to exercise regularly will take real commitment.

The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of activity daily. Since time is a precious commodity for most of us, it’s important to make the most of your exercise routine.

One way to make certain that your heart is getting the perfect workout is to check your target heart rate.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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