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Heart health and exercise

Posted 2/16/2011   Updated 2/16/2011 Email story   Print story


by Kayce Lauf
Health and Wellness Center

2/16/2011 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of three articles about heart health in light of Heart Month.

The first steps that need to be taken to prevent heart disease are quite literally taking steps.

One of the top preventable risk factors is being a member of the "Sedentary Club." Many studies have shown that making improvements in your physical fitness will significantly lower you risk for developing heart disease. Naturally, healthy bodies ward off disease much better than unhealthy ones. Regular exercise keeps your body healthy.

According to American College of Sports Medicine and Center for Disease Control, individuals should meet the recommended minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Being physically active does not have to mean going out and running multiple miles at a time.

Meeting the ACSM's 150 minutes per week for health benefits can simply be 30 minute sessions per day, five days a week. However if you are looking to lose weight or maintain previous weight loss, the recommendation is 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week.

Tips to get you started

Beginner exercisers who have one or more risk factors are encouraged to seek exercise advice from their doctors.

Be realistic with your aerobic ability. Don't overdo it, especially in the beginning. You will be less likely to stick with the routine if you are burnt out from the beginning.

Remember, always incorporate a proper warm up and cool down with your aerobic activity.

Pick an aerobic exercise that is fun- Whether it is participating in sport activities, a Zumba or spin class, or even mall walking. Make sure it is something you can enjoy and will keep coming back to!

At Scott there are many opportunities to get your exercise routine started. Join the HAWC Walk incentive program or participate in one of many fun aerobic classes offered at the Fitness Center. Contact the HAWC or Fitness Center for more information.

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