Putting it All Together

No matter what type of exercise you choose, remember that the goal isn’t to add exercise to your life but to make it a permanent part of your life, along with eating, sleeping, and brushing your teeth. So build walks into your schedule and let your family and friends know those outings aren’t expendable. If you’re having trouble fitting walking—or any other exercise—into your day, make it the first thing you do in the morning so it won’t get “bumped” by work, chores, or other activities. On days when you don’t walk, don’t just sit there—rake the lawn, wash the car, pop in an exercise video, or go for a bike ride. Remember, the goal is to be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week,

Once your body gets used to moving, you may actually start to crave exercise because it simply feels good. People who exercise sleep better and have more energy and a brighter outlook on life. And there’s another benefit: Even one walk or workout can blast away stress. That’s important because, as you’ll read in the next chapter, stress is a major contributor to heart disease and heart attacks. Read on to find out more-—but first, get up, lace your shoes, and take your first steps toward a healthier heart and a more active life!

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