Staying active shouldn't be a seasonal thing. It's important to get enough exercise year round, even during winter when temperatures drop and darkness comes early.
Being physically active helps prevent heart disease and stroke, the nation's number one and number five killers. For overall cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends:
- At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least five days per week OR
- At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least three days per week AND
- Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least two days per week
For lowering blood pressure and cholesterol:
- Average of 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity three or four days per week
6 Ways to Stay Active in the Winter
Here are a few ideas to keep you moving all winter long:
- Take a walk at the mall – consider it an indoor track
- Find an indoor pool for swimming or water aerobics
- Join a health club – choose one that is close to home
- Create a home gym with easy-to-use exercise equipment, or save money by buying used equipment
- Join a fitness class or an indoor team through a community organization
- Remember, everything counts – from cleaning the house to taking out the trash, make a plan to be active every day
Walking is a great way to get exercise. Research shows that walking for at least 30 minutes each day can help reduce your risk of heart disease, improve your blood pressure and help maintain a healthy weight. You can walk indoors at the mall or an indoor track, or head outside. Just be sure to dress in layers and protect your fingers, toes and ears. If you walk outdoors when it's dark, be sure to wear a reflective outer layer.
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