Physical inactivity has been established as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and some people are not physically active enough to gain any health benefits. Women especially need to increase their physical activity because women become less active during their teenage years. Women also tend to stay less physically active than men for the rest of our lives.
According to the American Heart Association guidelines for physical activity, adult women should be betting at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity on most days of the week. However, physical activity recommendations for women who need to lose weight or sustain weight loss are different - minimum of 60--90 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (e.g., brisk walking) on most, and preferably all, days of the week. Not sure what is moderate exercise?? Learn more.
Heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 and No. 3 killers of American women. Regular physical activity provides many benefits such as:
* Helps reduce your risk of heart disease
* Aids in controlling blood cholesterol, diabetes and obesity
* Helps lower blood pressure
* Builds stronger bones
* Aids in reducing anxiety and depression
* Increases energy levels
Tips for Getting Started
By being physically active, you'll feel better and look better, too! You can start today by:
* Warming up. Walk for about 5 minutes, then gently stretch your legs, lower back, and torso before beginning your activity session.
* Making watching television a dynamic activity. Do abdominal exercises, stretching, or other physical activity during commercials. See how much movement you get in one evening!.
* Wearing shoes that fit well. Break them in by walking around in them for short periods of time. Make sure they fit well before you leave the store. Try to find a knowledgeable salesperson who can help you.
* Making sure the areas you use outside aren't isolated and are well lighted at night. It's safer if you go with a friend or a group.
* Planning errands that require walking during your lunch hour.
* Increasing your strength and muscle tone by engaging in everyday activities such as carrying groceries, lifting a baby in and out of a stroller, or climbing steep stairs.
* Exercising inside! Walk in place. Take breaks while you're at the computer and do sit-ups, push-ups and other exercises. Rent or buy an aerobics, yoga or a Pilates video.
* Be engage in an outdoor activities such as hiking, biking,canoeing, etc.