For people who would benefit from lowering their blood pressure or cholesterol, we recommend 40 minutes of aerobic exercise of moderate to vigorous intensity three to four times a week to lower the risk for heart attack and stroke.
The simplest, positive change you can make to effectively improve your heart health is to start walking. It’s enjoyable, free, easy, social and great exercise. A walking program is flexible and boasts high success rates because people can stick with it.
It really is important for giving yourself the best chance for health by taking sensible steps to exercise based on your own situation (obviously some health conditions may limit your ability to exercise safely, which is something each person has to judge and see a doctor about if necessary).
Doing small things like using a treadmill while you watch TV or taking the stairs instead of the elevator for short trips can help. Another option is to walk instead of driving your car, or if you drive parking a few blocks away (or at the far side of the parking lot) walking, or if you are running several errands walk between those that you can even if you are using your car. Biking to work is another healthy lifestyle choice (if you city has made this safe – too often they fail to do sensible things).
Swimming is good exercise and something I took up several years ago (I was super lame at first but within a month or two it was better. I love hiking through national parks. A standing desk (or treadmill desk) is another option to reduce the damage of our sedentary lives.
Another thing to remember is losing weight is hard. It is better to avoid gaining too much weight in the first place. Avoiding the weight gain may also be a challenge but it is better than the alternative.
Too often we treat “health care” as sickness management. Doing things like creating a healthy lifestyle are are health care. Taking pills and antibiotics is mainly about sickness management.
Related: Better Health Through Exercise, Not Smoking, Low Weight, Healthy Diet and Low Alcohol Intake – Physical Activity for Adults: Inactivity Leads to 5.3 Million Early Deaths a Year – Healthy Diet, Healthy Living, Healthy Weight – Study Finds Obesity as Teen as Deadly as Smoking