Types of Physical Activity
There are two types of physical activity, aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity. Aerobic activity, also known as "cardio," is any activity that elevates your heart rate. There are different levels of intensity for aerobic activity. Some examples of moderate-intensity aerobic activities are walking (< 3 mph), riding your bicycle (< 10 mph), doubles tennis, and ballroom dancing. Vigorous-intensity aerobic activity is more intense that moderate; some examples of vigorous-intensity aerobic activities include: running, biking (> 10 mph), singles tennis, aerobic dance, and jumping rope.
Recommendations for Physical Activity from the American Heart AssociationFor Cardiovascular Health the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity:
- Aerobic Activity
- > or = 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150 minutes per week; or > or = 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes per week; or a combination of both moderate-intensity aerobic activity and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
- Muscle-Strengthening Activity
- > or = 2 days per week moderate-intensity to high-intensity muscle-strengthening for additional health benefits.
Health Benefits of Physical Activity
Physical activity has many healthy benefits including lowering blood pressure, raising HDL (the "good" cholesterol), reducing risk of diabetes, and it has been shown to help with weight management
If you have a family history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart attack (myocardial infarctions), please check in with your doctor to get a physical. Tell your doctor your family history of heart disease, your concerns for your health, and ask about what screening you should do. I am a register dietitian, not your personal dietitian. Check with your personal RD or MD before starting a new diet or exercise program to make sure it is healthy, safe, and the right choice for you.
This week, we discussed dietary and lifestyle choices that promote heart health. If you missed anything, check out these posts:
- Eat a Healthy Diet.
- Be Physically Active.
- Check in with Your Doctor.
- See a Registered Dietitian.
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