Summer is an easy time to make healthy lifestyle changes that can last throughout the year. It's sunny and beautiful out most days, and with school out, there's more time to get out and more activities going on in the community that are heart-healthy.

The American Heart Association recommends that to improve overall cardiovascular health, you need at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity). Thirty minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember.

Now you've got to find 30 minutes in your day to get physically active — and there are plenty of easy, no-cost ways to do it.


Think you don't have time? You don't have to do all 30 minutes at once.

You can even get heart-healthy benefits if you divide your time into two or three 10- to 15-minute segments a day.

"Building physical activity back into our daily lives is one of the great public health challenges of this century," said Russell Pate, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Exercise at the University of South Carolina. "Our bodies were designed to be physically active, and they don't do well with long-term exposure to sedentary living.  Lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease."

Need some no-cost, fun ways to get active this summer? Try these tips:

  1. Get out the leash and walk your dog. It's a great activity for both man and man's best friend. Your heart — and your pooch — will thank you!
  2. Take your child for a brisk walk. It's an excellent way to get some one-on-one time (or one-on-three, depending on the size of your brood.) Spice up your routine by exploring new neighborhoods or turning your walk into a scavenger hunt.
  3. Mall walk. Are you sweating at the idea of walking outside? Take a brisk stroll around your local mall instead. Window shop, people watch and give your heart a workout in a climate-controlled environment.
  4. Join a team.  Pick an activity you love and round up some friends. Team sports can be fun — and keep you motivated and accountable.
  5. Walk and talk. Even if you're glued to your phone for work calls, you don't have to be glued to your seat. Make it a habit to talk and walk. Some workplaces have walking paths to make it even easier to burn while you earn.
  6. Tune into fitness during TV time.  Reject your inner couch potato. Walk, jog in place or use the treadmill at the gym while you watch your favorite 30-minute show.
  7. Park and walk. How many times have you circled the parking lot to find "the" spot? Spare yourself the stress and gain more energy by parking far away (or even in a remote lot) and walking farther to your destination.
  8. Take the stairs. The elevator may go up — but it doesn't make your heart rate climb. Take the stairs instead. You may huff and puff at first, but over time, your body will thank you.
  9. Dance! Do it in a ballroom, at a club or even in your living room. You'll burn calories and gain a new hobby.
  10. Skip the cake, say goodbye to pie and take a walk after dinner. You'll get a reward that's sweeter than dessert: more family time.

If these ideas don't work for you, find something that you enjoy. Ditching the excuses can be the first step to a healthier you.

Refferal: http://blog.al.com/heart-beat/2016/07/getting_active_can_be_easy_10.html

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