Americans are spending more time sitting – at work, school or in front of a screen – than ever before. We're becoming less active, which can increase our risk of heart disease, stroke and other diseases.
This April the American Heart Association is encouraging Americans to get Healthy For Good™ by being more physically active. Our National Walking Day celebration has been expanded to a month-long initiative as part of our Healthy For Good movement. The movement is designed to inspire lasting change through small, simple steps in four key areas: Eat smart. Add color. Move more. Be well.
Whether it’s walking, running, biking, swimming, playing sports or doing yoga, the goal is for adults to get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of both). Kids should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. How you achieve your goal is up to you. Thirty minutes five times a week, 50 minutes three times a week, or just 22 minutes every day. You’ll experience benefits even if you divide your daily time into two or three blocks of 10 to 15 minutes each. Little steps will lead to big gains!
Being physically active on a regular basis is important to promote overall health and prevent heart disease and stroke, which are responsible for more deaths in the U.S. than all forms of cancer combined. Heart disease is the leading cause of death and stroke is the leading preventable cause of disability.
Research has shown that every hour of regular exercise can add about two hours to life expectancy, even if you don’t start until midlife. Plus, regular physical activity can help relieve depression, manage stress, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improve sleep and prevent weight gain.