American Heart Association Challenges People to be More Physically Active

(INDIANAPOLIS) – April is Move More Month, and because most of us are spending more time at home these days it’s as critical as ever to make time to be physically active.

For adults, the American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate activity such as brisk walking, yoga or gardening or 75 minutes of vigorous activity such as running, jumping rope or swimming laps, or a combination of those activities. In addition, the AHA recommends two days per week of moderate-to high-intensity muscle strengthening activity, such as resistance training or lifting weights.

Starting a journey to be more active can boost your personal health and well-being, and inspire others to do the same, according to the AHA.

“Adding physical activity into your routine can be simple and does not need to be overwhelming. There are many small, achievable ways to be active throughout the day,” said Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., M.P.H., FAAFP, American Heart Association’s chief medical officer for prevention. “Whether you have been totally inactive and are just beginning to exercise, or if you’re already active, more movement and less sedentary time will add up in a positive way for your overall health.”

Most adults spend an average of six to eight hours a day being sedentary, which includes driving, sitting, TV viewing and computer use. Experts say those who struggle to carve out time for physical activity should use any opportunity to sneak in physical activity throughout the day. Focusing on moving more and sitting less can help. There’s benefit to any physical activity, regardless of the length of the activity.

Here are some ideas to move more throughout the day:

  1. Set a timer. Avoid being sedentary for too long and set a reminder to move around for five minutes every hour or 10 minutes every two hours.
  2. Be creative at home. Find more ways to get up and off the couch by taking a walk or doing a few push-ups between episodes of a TV show. Active chores like vacuuming and cleaning up after dinner count too.
  3. Don’t wait. Make it a habit to work out right after work or school. If you stop at home, you may be tempted to skip it. 
  4. Find forms of exercise you like. Experiment with workouts that fit your personality, location and schedule. You’ll be more likely to stick with it. 
  5. Move more at workSchedule walking meetings or make it a habit to stand every time you make or answer a phone call.

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