The American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good movement is based on the simple premise that small steps add up to big results. The little things you do today could make a big difference for your health in the future.
Healthy for Good is based on four main pillars: move more, eat smart, add color and be well. When you combine all four pillars, you have tools, tips and motivation for whole-body wellness.
Although this program has made it easier to be healthier through tools, tips and motivation, Americans are still struggling with maintaining healthy habits. In fact, according to the Association, about one in three adults participate in NO leisure time physical activity.
The benefits of being more active include:
- Lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia and Alzheimer’s, several types of cancer, and some complications of pregnancy
- Better sleep, including improvements in insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea
- Improved cognition, including memory, attention and processing speed
- Less weight gain, obesity and related chronic health conditions
- Better bone health and balance, with less risk of injury from falls
- Fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Better quality of life and sense of overall well-being
While the benefits are enticing, it still might be difficult to get started, especially if exercise hasn’t been a part of your daily routine.
If moving more sends up a red flag for you, take a deep breath and read on. Moving more doesn’t mean you need to buy a fancy gym membership, hire a personal trainer or invest in expensive equipment. There are small things you can do each day that count as moving more!
If you simply have a good pair of sneakers, you’ve already taken the first step (see what we did there!) to better heart and brain health. If you think about breaking down a goal into smaller steps, it seems much more manageable. All you have to do is stick to it every day and you will get there!
Don’t think your movements add up? Check out how you can make every move count:
- 10 minutes of stretching is like walking the length of a football field
- 5 hours of walking every week for a year is like walking across the state of Wyoming
- 30 minutes of singles tennis is like walking a 5K
- 1 hour of dancing every week for a year is like walking from Chicago to Indianapolis
- 20 minutes of vacuuming is like walking one mile
- 30 minutes of grocery shopping every other week for a year is like walking a marathon
For more ways to move more and make it count, visit www.heart.org/movemore.