In America the number one killer of both men and women is heart disease. Coronary heart disease occurs when there is a waxy buildup called plaque that accumulates in the coronary arteries. After many years of this plaque building up it constricts the flow of blood through the artery. Physical activity has a direct impact on heart health. A large percentage of Americans, 40 %, report that they get no physical activity in their free time. Making a few small changes can make a huge impact to your overall health and well-being.
The sedentary lifestyle is more common than it use to be. As industrial jobs became less frequent and office jobs became the norm, more and more people sit in front of computers all day, every day. In the past people had to push lawn mowers, hand wash cars, played Frisbee by throwing and chasing a real Frisbee, they had more physical demands in their daily routine. Now everything has become easier but definitely not healthier. Children and adults are playing on the computer and varying game systems instead of running and playing outside. They opt for the fastest, quickest way to get a job done instead of manually completing tasks. The quick, fast way of accomplishing tasks had led to an unhealthy nation.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recommendations for physical activity that individuals should try to incorporate into their days. Youth, children up to the age of 18, are recommended to get at least 60 minutes of vigorous activity a day. Adults should get the equivalent of 30 minutes a day, most days of vigorous activity as well as two days of strength training. Starting a walking plan for your heart health is a smart way to get your recommended exercise every day. Start slowly and increase your speed and distance in small intervals each week until you reach your goals.
If you have suffered a heart attack or have been living a sedentary lifestyle it is important to discuss your walking plan with your doctor. Walking requires no special equipment and you can start slowly and build up your endurance which builds the strength of your heart. However, you want to make sure you start in the safest manner possible. Heart disease is preventable in many cases. Changing your lifestyle can change your quality of life and it really is as easy as walking. A 30 minutes brisk walk every day will strengthen your heart and help your blood flow freely through your arteries. If you are unable to walk for 30 minutes at a time, 10 minute sessions throughout the day have shown to have positive results as well. Start today and strive every day to strengthen your heart health.