Exercise to Prevent Heart Disease

Everywhere you turn, it seems like someone – be it a health care provider or former First Lady Michelle Obama – is talking about the importance of regular physical activity. They definitely are on to something.

In addition to the physical toll a lack of exercise takes on the body, a whopping 74% of all U.S. adults today are obese or overweight, increasing their risk for heart disease. Meanwhile, the heart-healthy benefits of exercising for just 30 minutes a day are nearly endless. To name a few, physical activity:

  • Improves blood circulation
  • Keeps your weight under control
  • Helps you quit smoking
  • Improves cholesterol levels
  • Lowers your blood pressure
  • Lowers your risk for certain types of cancers
  • Prevents bone loss
  • Boosts your energy level
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly
  • Reduces coronary heart disease by 25%
  • Reduces the risk of stroke
  • Helps to manage chronic illnesses, reducing pain and improving quality of life 

Where do I begin?

Although you may be eager to start a new exercise program or add a new activity to your existing routine, be sure to talk to your health care professional first. Taking into account your medical history, age and other considerations, they can help determine which activities are best for your current physical condition.

Once you get the green light from a health expert, consider starting a walking program. It is the easiest way to begin exercising. Plus, it’s free! You could even gather a few girlfriends and start a walking club to help keep each other accountable and celebrate your health accomplishments together.