21 Fast Facts About Exercise and Your Heart


You might think you know all there is to know about your heart and exercise. But myths abound. Here are 21 fast facts about your heart and exercise:

1. Physical activity is an important way to prevent heart disease – the nation’s No. 1 killer — and stroke, the nation’s No. 5 killer.

2. Do at least 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity every week – 30 minutes a day, five days a week to improve your cardiovascular health.

3. Moderate activity gets your heart beating faster, cause you to break a sweat and breathe harder – you should be able to talk but not sing.

RELATED: What Does Moderate Exercise Mean, Anyway?

4. Divide your time into two or three segments of 10 minutes to 15 minutes per day — you will still experience benefits.

5. Most people are safe doing activity that requires moderate effort.

6. Try doing 75 minutes per week of vigorous activity, if you like and are able to do it, to improve your cardiovascular health.

7. To lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, do 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity three or four times each week such as walking, jogging, swimming or biking.

8. The heart health benefits of physical activity are far greater than the chances of getting hurt.

9. You don’t have to do the activity all at once — the minimum required is a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time.

10. All types of physical activity help your heart health — take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk briskly around the mall or dance in your living room.

11. The simplest change you can make to improve your heart health is to start walking.

12. People of all types, shapes, sizes, and abilities can benefit from being physically active.

13. Talk with your doctor about the types and amounts of physical activity that are right for you if you have heart disease.

14. It’s best to start at a comfortable pace if you have not been active in some time, then gradually increase your activity intensity and duration as your body adapts to regular exercise.

15. Doing some physical activity is better for your heart than doing nothing.

16. If you have heart disease, you should exercise just as much as someone who does not have heart disease.

17. You are more likely to develop heart disease, have high blood pressure, have high blood cholesterol or have a stroke if you are not regularly physically active.

18. You don’t need a stress test before starting an exercise program just because your cholesterol is high.

19. Cardiac rehabilitation can reduce death rates from heart disease by about half.

20. Exercise training, education and counseling are all part of cardiac rehabilitation, and can help improve your heart health.

21. Using a heart rate monitor to ensure you are attaining your personal exercise heart rate ranges can help optimize your fitness level.



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