Top tips to help you stay active

By Maeve O'Keeffe Heart News   |   2nd Aug 2022

Physical activity is important for a healthy heart – here are some ways to build activity into your day

It is recommended that adults should get at least thirty minutes of moderate intensity exercise five days a week, but it can be hard to make time for physical activity every single day.

Regular exercise can help lower blood pressure, reduce stress levels, and manage weight, all of which are important steps to take for a healthy heart. You don’t need to splash out on gym membership or exercise equipment to become more physically active. Here are some handy tips to help kick start a more active lifestyle so you can enjoy all the accompanying health benefits.

1.Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator – this is a simple but effective way to get your heart pumping.

2. Find a buddy to exercise with. You will be more motivated to go for a brisk walk or jog if you feel like you would be disappointing someone else by not going, and the company can make exercising more enjoyable.

3. If possible, walk or cycle to work. You might have to get up a little earlier, but it will benefit your health as well as the environment. You will also save money on the costs of commuting, so it’s a win-win. You could build up to this by getting off a stop earlier on your commute or parking a little further away, and briskly walking the rest of the way.

4. Join a local sports team or club. The social element of weekly training sessions and matches can make staying active feel like less of a chore. Depending on the club or team, you may have to pay a small membership fee, but there are plenty of affordable options available. You might even make some new friends while staying fit.

5. Try deskercise – exercises that you can do while sitting down at your desk. You would be surprised how easy it is to include some stretching and movement while sitting down at work.

6. Try a home workout first thing in the morning. From aerobics and dance classes to yoga and pilates, there is a huge variety of free home workouts that you can try online.  By setting your alarm just a few minutes earlier for a quick morning workout, you can get into a great routine of being physically active before you even leave the house.

7. Check out the Irish Heart Foundation’s Escape Your Chair Challenge for suggestions of new ways to get moving for just one minute every hour.

Remember staying physically active is challenging, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Any progress is good progress, even if it seems small. Try not to compare yourself with others and focus on the little things that you can do consistently to be more active.

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exercise heart health physical activity

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