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NHLBI offers complete guide to physical activity for a healthy heart

About 60 percent of U.S. adults do not get the recommended levels of physical activity, yet research suggests that regular physical activity is essential for maintaining a healthy heart. To help people jump-start and maintain a physical activity program for their heart, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has developed a new publication.

"Your Guide to Physical Activity and Your Heart" presents comprehensive and easy-to-understand information on the impact of physical activity on your heart, as well as the power of physical activity to keep you healthy overall. Since physical inactivity is one of several major heart disease risk factors that you can do something about, the 44-page guide is full of practical tips, including sample walking and jogging programs, instructions for finding your target heart rate zone, ideas for making fitness a family affair, and an overview of the best physical activities for a healthy heart.

"When it comes to getting in shape, what's good for you is good for your whole family," said NHLBI's Karen A. Donato, S.M., R.D., program coordinator of both We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children's Activity and Nutrition), NIH's national education program to prevent childhood obesity, and the NHLBI Obesity Education Initiative. "To maintain health, all adults should be moderately active for at least 30 minutes per day on most days of the week. To help manage body weight and prevent unhealthy weight gain, at least 60 minutes per day is recommended. Children and adolescents also need to be active for at least 60 minutes per day. So pry the kids off the couch and help yourself stay fit as well by doing enjoyable activities together."

There are many ways people can incorporate physical activity into everyday life such as:

  • Use the stairs--both up and down--instead of the elevator. Start with one flight of stairs and gradually build up to more.

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Contact: NHLBI Communications Office
nhlbi_news@nhlbi.nih.gov
301-496-4236
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
8-Aug-2006


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