What to Know
Walk Your Way to Better Health
Walking is the single most effective form of exercise to achieve heart health - and it's free! In addition, physical activity boosts mental wellness, physical wellness, good cholesterol, energy and your immune system.
Increase Your Life Expectancy
Studies show that for every 30 minutes of exercise, you increase your life expectancy by two hours.
Save Money on Health Care
Physically active people save an average of $500 a year on healthcare costs.
Feel the Burn
A 200-pound person who walks 4.5 miles in one hour can burn 572 calories. Jog seven miles in an hour and you'll burn 1,230 calories!
What the Expert Says
"We encourage all of our patients to participate in regular exercise," says Dr. Karen Kutoloski of the MetroHealth Heart & Vascular Center. "However, if someone is about to embark in a vigorous exercise program and either has a history of heart disease or has risk factors for heart disease, it is wise for these individuals to seek guidance from their cardiologist or primary care physician first."
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What to Do
- Walk for a few minutes before breakfast.
- Walk or bike to the corner store instead of driving.
- Park farther away from a store's entrance.
- Use a push lawn mower.
- Walk while talking on the phone.
Work Out Around the House
- Grow a garden. Tending it is a fun outdoor activity.
- Make use of television time: Sit up straight, stretch regularly, or ride your stationery bicycle.
- Walk up and down sets of steps.
Work Out at the Workplace
- Walk down the hall to talk to someone (don't just call or rely on email).
- Form a recreational sports team with co-workers.
- Walk at lunch. Better yet, make it a working lunch. Walk with a co-worker and brainstorm ideas on work projects.
- Join a fitness center close to work and go before or after work.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
How to Make Working Out More Fun
- Have a workout buddy.
- Listen to your favorite music - make a workout playlist!
- Walk around town or your neighborhood and discover new places.
- Fly a kite in your yard or a nearby park.
- Rent a rowboat or kayak.
- Dance - alone or with someone else, in your living room or at a dance class.
- Go swimming at a nearby beach or a community pool.
Life's Simple 7 Ways to Improve Heart Health
From the American Heart Association
- Don't smoke.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Engage in regular physical activity.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Manage blood pressure.
- Take charge of cholesterol.
- Keep blood sugar, or glucose, at healthy levels.
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Chart Your Course
Download the American Heart Association's Walking Paths App for your smart phone. Save your walking paths and share them with others, or learn about new walking trails and paths from users like you.
Check Out My Life Check
The American Heart Association has produced My Life Check, a easy-to-use resource to create an action plan for living a heart-healthy life. Start with a self-assessment, then follow your customized plan. Get started today!
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