For the average person, good cardiovascular fitness is a simple do-it-yourself project in four words: Move more; sit less.
According to the American Heart Association, a healthy heart needs regular physical activity. This means:
- At least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity. It’s best to spread these minutes throughout the week.
- Moderate to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity (like resistance training or weights) at least twice a week.
- Less time sitting (being sedentary). Even light-intensity activity can offset some of the risks of sitting too much.
- Being active at least 300 minutes (five hours) per week.
- Increasing amount and intensity gradually over time.
Look for ways to add short bursts of activity into your daily routine. Try parking farther away and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. When you do have time, think about trying a new sport or activity.
One great thing about regular exercise is that it prevents you from drinking or smoking while you’re doing it: The American Heart Association recommends less alcohol (no more than one drink a day for women; two for men) and no tobacco at all, including vaping.
There’s no time like the present: Time to get moving!
Source: The American Heart Association: heart.org/en