July 10, 2002 at 7:00 PM EST - Updated June 30 at 1:05 AM
Swimming, cycling, jogging, skiing, aerobic dancing, walking, or any of dozens of other activities can help the heart. The physicality causes warmth, perspiration, and heavy breathing without a muscle burning sensation. Whether structured or just part of a daily routine, all exercise adds up to a healthier heart. Please find a few tips below.
Choose fun, not exhausting activities
Add variety. Try not to rely too much on one activity, but develop a repertoire of several to enjoy. That way, exercise will never seem boring or routine.
Wear comfortable, properly fitted footwear and comfortable, loose-fitting clothing appropriate for the weather and the activity.
Find a convenient time and place to do activities. Try to make it a habit, but maintain flexibility.
Use music to stay entertained.
Keep involved with supportive people.
Share activity time with others. Make a date with a family member, friend, or co-worker. Serve as an active role model for children.
Don't overdo it. Do low- to moderate-level activities, especially at first. Slowly increase the duration and intensity of activities as fitness increases. Over time, work up to exercising three or four times per week for 30-60 minutes.
Keep a record of activities. Reward yourself at special milestones. Nothing motivates like success!