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Exercise for a Healthy Heart


How Much Should You Exercise and How Often?

Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (such as brisk walking) at least 5 days a week. If you're just getting started, you can slowly build up to that.

In time, you can make your workouts longer or more challenging. Do that gradually, so your body can adjust.

When you work out, keep your pace low for a few minutes at the start and end of your workout. That way, you warm up and cool down each time.

You don't have to do the same exact thing every time. It's more fun if you change it up.

Exercise Precautions

You'll probably be able to exercise with no problem if your doctor says you can and if you pay attention to how you're feeling while you're working out.

Stop and get immediate medical help if you have pain or pressure in your chest or the upper part of your body, break out in a cold sweat, have trouble breathing, have a very fast or uneven heart rate, or feel dizzy, lightheaded, or very tired.

It's normal for your muscles to be mildly sore for a day or two after your workout when you're new to exercise. That fades as your body gets used to it. Soon, you might be surprised to find that you like how you feel when you're done.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on September 23, 2014
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