Re-focusing on Getting Fit? Heart Experts Offer These Tips

SATURDAY, April 10, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Want to get rid of all that weight you put on during the pandemic?

To help out, the American Heart Association (AHA) is launching an initiative called Move More.

One in four U.S. adults is sitting for longer than eight hours each day, which can harm one's mental and physical health, according to the AHA.

"For too many of us, our daily routines have become more sedentary over the past year due to the pandemic, making it even more important to find ways to increase physical activity in our day," said Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, the AHA's chief medical officer for prevention.

"Any movement is better than no movement, and more is better. Even small breaks of activity throughout the day will benefit health and reduce stress," Sanchez said in an AHA news release.

The association outlines ways to get more active:

  • To avoid long stretches of inactivity, set reminders to move around for five minutes multiple times a day.
  • Find more ways to get off the couch. For example, take a walk around the house or do a few pushups between episodes of a TV show. If you have a pet, take breaks to play or go for a walk outside. Active chores such as vacuuming and tidying up clutter also help.
  • Reduce screen time. Schedule a time each day for the whole family to unplug and take an activity break. Take a walk, play a game of hide-and-seek inside, or put on your favorite music for a dance party.
  • Move more while working at home. Try to reduce meetings by five minutes when possible and use that time to do basic strength exercises like squats or crunches, move to different part of your home to do stretches, or stand every time you create or answer an e-mail.
  • Find types of exercise you enjoy and that fit your schedule.

The AHA recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity aerobic activity such as brisk walking or gardening, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity such as running or aerobic dancing, or a combination of both intensity-level activities.

It also recommends two days of moderate-to high-intensity muscle strengthening activity weekly, such as resistance training.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers a guide to physical activity.

SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, April 1, 2021

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