Exercise for a Healthy Heart


Exercise is the BEST medicine!

ExerciseWhen done regularly, exercise can:

  • lower your stress
  • lower your blood pressure
  • relax your blood vessels
  • protect you from heart disease


What is Exercise?

Exercise is any physical activity that improves your fitness and health.

Types of Exercise

Aerobic exercise raises your heart rate and breathing. Examples are brisk walking, swimming, or biking.

Strength exercises target specific muscles to get them stronger (lifting weights, push-ups). Avoid lifting heavy weights if you have high blood pressure.

Exercise Recommendations to Lower Blood Pressure

At least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (example: walking at a brisk pace 5 days per week for 30 minutes)


At least 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (example: fast running 3 days per week for 25 minutes)

It is okay to break your aerobic exercise into 10-15 minute blocks.

Add strength training exercises that target major muscles 2-3 days per week.

Exercise for Weight Loss

Even a little weight loss can lower your blood pressure. Exercise with diet changes is the best plan to lose weight.

Tips to Stay On Track

  • Use an activity tracker to see how much you are moving
  • Schedule your exercise into your calendar
  • Know your back-up plan for bad weather, travel, or unexpected events
  • Exercise with a buddy to keep each other on track
  • Join a sports team
  • Vary your activities to keep it interesting and exercise more muscles
  • Motivate yourself with an event (example: charity walk)
  • Stay safe when exercising alone or at night
See also  MyHEART Research Program for Young Adults with High Blood Pressure


Check out these links to get you started with an exercise plan!

  • American Heart Association’s Getting Started – Tips for Long-term Exercise Success
  • American Heart Association’s Create Your Own Circuit Workout at Home
  • American Heart Association’s From the Couch to the Pavement – A Plan to Get You Moving
  • National Institutes of Health’s Guide to Physical Activity
  • American Diabetes Association’s Starter Walking Plan


*Disclaimer: Always consult your physician or healthcare provider before beginning any exercise program or physical activity. If you experience any pain or difficulty with an exercise or activity, stop immediately and consult your doctor. If you have a medical emergency including, but not limited to, weakness, unsteadiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, chest pain, chest pressure, chest discomfort, nausea, vomiting, or unusual shortness of breath, CALL 911 immediately.



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