The American Heart Association recommends setting a goal of 10,000 steps a day. This may sound like a lot, but this includes every step you take – whether you are working out or not. From the time you get up to when you go to sleep, each step counts.
You may work in a industry where you are on your feet, most or all the time and can easily reach this goal and see the clear impact it has on your health. Someone with a sedentary job will need to set aside more time in the day for a longer workout. If you are out of shape, 10,000 steps may seem like a challenge. Remember, you can always set lower goals and work towards 10,000 steps. Remember, something is better than nothing!
A pedometer makes it easy for you to track your daily steps and observe your progress in real time. See a variety of models here:
Instead of walking or running, you may prefer a different aerobic activity like swimming or working out on a stationery cardiovascular machine such as the elliptical trainer or stationery bike. If you choose this alternative, your goal should be 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Most research has shown that this is the magic number to reap the benefits of heart health, prevent diabetes, cancer and other diseases, and improve the quality and quantity of life. If you cannot exercise for 30 minutes a day, start with 15 to 20 minutes and work your way up. Just start moving your body! It does not have to be all at once. Try doing 10 minutes in the morning and 10 in the evening. You do have options.
You want to work up to the level where your aerobic activity is still challenging, but you can maintain that level for an extended period of time. If you are doing something that is too intense, you won’t be able to maintain it very long, and it can often lead to overexertion or injury.
Hopefully, this information provides you with the knowledge you need to start a safe and effective aerobic exercise plan to build a strong, healthy heart.
Health and happiness,
Kriss Brooks is a health and wellness expert, and regular contributor to Faith in the Bay