There are many challenges that prevent women taking part in exercise: they have to juggle family and work, often working on lower incomes and often facing constraints by cultural or social pressures.
The benefits of being active are enormous and physical activity is an essential part of a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Among other benefits such as helping manage a good weight balance and reducing stress, physical activity reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), the number one killer of women. Despite the fact that one in three women will die from cardiovascular disease, many women don't know they are at risk and fail to take action to protect their heart.
Aligning with the World Health Organization recommendations, the World Heart Federation encourages women to do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week - just over 20 minutes a day.
To help this seem more achievable, follow these five easy tips:
- Incorporate physical activity in your daily activities: try to walk as much as possible and always climb the stairs! If you use a car, try parking slightly ahead of your destination. When taking the bus or the train, consider getting off a few stops earlier than you usually do.
- Walking is a simple and cost-effective way to start a fitness journey – simply walking for as few as 30 minutes a day is good for you: it can cut the risk of heart disease by 50%. Walking is enjoyable, free, social and great exercise.
Focus on physical activities that are...
- ...fun: there are plenty of options to enjoy physical activity. Join a sports team, take a yoga class with a neighbor, take a walk during lunch with a co-worker or play football in the park with your children.
- ...social: enlist a friend or family member. Many people agree that having an ‘exercise buddy’ or being part of a team keeps them going.
- ... easy: you are more likely to exercise if it’s easy to do – and there are plenty of options. Start small and gradually increase the duration and the intensity progressively.
For more information on heart health and activity, visit http://www.world-heart-federation.org/
Source: World Heart Federation