Written by KURA Writer- Rylee Nelson
Prioritizing a healthy diet along with regular physical activity has proven to have a significant positive impact on heart health. Regular physical activity can lower your blood pressure, prevent heart disease, improve cholesterol, and reduce the risk of developing some cancers (CDC, 2022). The American Heart Association suggests getting at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week, lowering your amount of time sitting, and to slowly increase the intensity of the activities as you progress (AHA, 2022). They also suggest combining a schedule of mostly aerobic exercises with a few days of resistance training.
Examples of aerobic exercises:
●Walking at a quicker pace than a leisurely walk
●Running for a duration that is not overly challenging
●Cycling either at the gym or outside
●Dancing for a certain amount of time to your favorite music
Examples of resistance training:
● Light to moderate weightlifting or resistance bands
● Bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, pull ups, squats, planks, and crunches
There are many classes you can take that focus on these exercises at gyms and online that provide guidance. You can download apps on your phone or computer that allow you to track your physical activity and set personal goals which helps with motivation. There are other exercise options you can do that include activities you may already perform around your home. Some include gardening and other yard work, housework, playing with a pet, and playing with grandchildren at the park. Numerous different exercise clubs or senior sports leagues can provide an opportunity for socialization while getting exercise.
You can reach the 2.5 hour suggested weekly physical activity amount by exercising 30 minutes a day 5 times a week. You can also split up the time to fit around your schedule. It’s crucial to never overwork yourself when exercising because it can cause injuries or muscle pain (Healthline, 2014). It’s also good to give yourself rest between workouts so your body has time to recover. The most important thing is finding an exercise routine that is personally enjoyable and sustainable.
American Heart Association recommendations for physical activity in adults and kids. www.heart.org. (2022, July 28). Retrieved March 2, 2023, from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults?gclid=CjwKCAiAr4GgBhBFEiwAgwORrSrXO4_nJMRCmpPjAUyzEhan9ZgAc6OO6u1Vxl3xep00pY5Z0Ko0ohoCaYMQAvD_BwE
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, June 16). Benefits of physical activity. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved March 3, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm#:~:text=Regular%20physical%20activity%20is%20one,ability%20to%20do%20everyday%20activities.
Haskins, J. (2014, September 2). Don’t overdo it: Why too much exercise may be a bad thing. Healthline. Retrieved March 3, 2023, from https://www.healthline.com/health-news/why-too-much-exercise-can-be-bad-042514#Playing-Smart
Lim, G. (2022, October 22). Strength training vs. Cardio: What’s better for weight loss? ByeHulla. Retrieved March 2, 2023, from https://byehulla.com/training/strength-training-vs-cardio/