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Heart Health

Keep Your Heart Healthy by Getting Active

When it comes to keeping your heart healthy, getting active can help you reach that goal.  This is one of Life’s Simple 7.  Being active reduces your risk for heart attack and stroke. 

Follow these steps to get started on the pathway to an active life and better heart health!

Learn Why It Is Important.

Take Action to Be Healthy.

Know Your Numbers.

Talk with Your Doctor.

Know Your Family Heart History.


Learn Why It Is Important.

Science shows that physical activity can reduce your risk of dying early from the leading causes of death, like heart disease and some cancers.  This is remarkable in two ways:

Many Americans are not active enough. The good news, though, is that even modest amounts of physical activity are good for your health. The more active you are, the more you will benefit.

Everyone can gain the health benefits of physical activity – your age, ethnicity, shape or size do not matter.

If you have diabetes, staying active is especially important.  Diabetes is a very serious risk factor for heart disease.  Find out how activity can be good medicine for people who have diabetes.

Take Action to Be Healthy.

Physical activity is part of a heart healthy lifestyle.  The four main types of physical activity are:

You can do physical activity with varying amounts of intensity:

The level of intensity depends on how hard you have to work to do the activity. 


Know Your Numbers.              

For major health benefits, adults should do at least:


You do not have to do the activity all at once. You can break it up into shorter periods of at least 10 minutes each. Examples of aerobic activity are:


Talk With Your Doctor.

Be sure to talk with your doctor about what types of physical activity are safe for you if you have a heart problem or chronic disease, such as:

You also should talk with your doctor about safe physical activities if you have symptoms such as chest pain or dizziness.

You can find more information about physical activity at the following:


Know Your Family Heart History.

Knowledge is one of your strongest weapons against heart disease.  Learn as much as you can about healthy living to keep your heart strong.

And because diseases of the heart and blood vessels can run in families, knowing your family history can provide important information about your health risks.  Talk to your family about their heart health history.  To learn how to create a heart health family tree, please visit Know Your Family Heart Health History.  

By talking to your doctor about your family heart health history, together you can look for ways to lower your risk of heart disease.


Points to Remember


Hope Through Research - You Can Be Part of the Answer!

Many research studies are underway to help us learn about heart disease. Would you like to find out more about being part of this exciting research? Please visit the following links:



Doing Physical Activity Regularly (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. National Institutes of Health)

Types of Physical Activity.

Walking…A Step in the Right Direction (National Institute of Digestive and Diabetes and Kidney Diseases)

Who Is at Risk for Diabetic Heart Disease? (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. National Institutes of Health)

For more information:

Go to the Heart Health health topic, where you can:

Last Reviewed: Apr 24, 2014