Another way to boost heart health: Take a brisk stroll
Walking, just about the easiest way to be more physically active while improving your health, strengthens your heart (which makes it work more efficiently), lowers blood pressure and can improve cholesterol levels. In fact, doing this totally portable, 100 percent free activity can reduce your risk of heart disease by as much as 30 to 40 percent.
If you haven’t exercised in a while, get a checkup first.
Start slowly, increasing gradually. The American Heart Association suggests that you aim for at least 30 minutes five times a week. It’s OK to break up that 30 minutes into two 15-minute blocks or three 10-minute blocks throughout the day.
Invest in a pedometer to count your steps. Make sure your shoes provide the proper support and are the right ones for walking.
Try to add 2,000 more steps each day than you normally walk.
To maximize the heart-healthy benefits of walking, walk briskly enough to increase your pulse (you should still be able to talk comfortably). Recent research shows brisk walking can reduce your risk of heart attack just as much as more strenuous aerobic exercise.
Find a buddy or start a local walking club. But if you must walk alone, make sure someone knows your route.
Keep a walking journal to track your progress.