5 Ways to Get More Active—Starting Today

Becoming more physically active is important for reaching and maintaining a healthy weight and reducing your overall risk for heart disease and diabetes.

Experts recommend gradually working up to 30 to 45 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most days of the week. This could mean gardening, walking, biking, dancing—almost any activity that increases your heart rate counts. Use these ideas to help you get moving in the right direction.

  1. Start slowly. If you're not currently as active as you'd like to be, that's OK. Start with just 5 or 10 minutes of activity for now. Work your way up to 30 minutes a day. Be patient. You'll get there.
  1. Monitor your heart rate. Ask your health care provider about a target heart rate that's right for you. Target heart rate is a desired range of times that your heart beats per minute.
  2. Set goals. Setting current goals (such as walking 10 minutes 3 times a week) as well as future ones (walking 10 minutes 5 times a week) can give you something specific to work toward. Goals also can help keep you motivated.
  3. Get comfortable. Wear comfortable socks and shoes and select clothing to match the activity you'll be doing.
  4. Make it fun. Engaging in a variety of activities that you enjoy can help prevent boredom. It also can keep your mind and body challenged.

Important reminder: Always check with your health care provider before beginning any activity plan or increasing your activity.

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