Get Regular Exercise

Aerobic exercise can help you lose weight and can bring your blood pressure down too. Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.

Why Get Aerobic Exercise?
Aerobic exercise makes your muscles – including your heart muscle stronger. It can also help you manage other heart disease risk factors such as high blood cholesterol, smoking, excess weight, and stress.

Aerobics Basics

  • Aerobic exercise is any activity that:
  • Is rhythmic and steady.
  • You can do without stopping.
  • Uses large muscle groups.
  • Raises your heart rate.

The Three-Part Program

I. Warm Up (5 minutes)
  • Slowly raise your heart rate with mild exercise.
  • Do slow, gentle stretching exercises.
  • Aerobic Exercise (20 minutes)
  • Raise your heart rate with more intense exercise.
  • Try activities like biking, dancing, jogging, jumping rope, running, skating, swimming, and walking.
II. Cool Down (5 minutes)
  • Slowly lower your heart rate with mild exercise.
  • Give your muscles a gentle, thorough stretch.
Stop exercising and call your doctor if you have:
  • Chest pain or pain in your neck and arms
  • Severe trouble breathing
  • An irregular or rapid heartbeat
  • An upset stomach, blurred vision, or dizziness
  • Your Heart Rate
  • Your heart rate refers to how fast your heart is beating. By checking your heart rate, you can find out whether you are exercising at the right level.
III. Hitting Your Target
Your target heart rate is how fast your heart should be beating 10 minutes into your workout. Exercise for 10 minutes. Stop and check your heart rate for 10 seconds. Then compare the number with the chart on the right.
Finding Your Pulse
Check your heart rate by counting the tiny pulse that move through your body each time your heart beats. Be sure to use your fingers, not your thumb. Your thumb has its own pulse. To find your pulse at your neck, place your fingers in the groove of your neck right below your jawbone. To find your pulse at your wrist, place your fingers on the inside of your wrist at the base of your thumb.

Exercise Do’s and Don’ts

DO see a doctor before starting an exercise program.
DON’T exercise right after eating a large meal or in very cold or hot weather.
DO drink one or two glasses of water before you start and keep drinking while you exercise
DON’T drink alcohol (even a small amount) or take drugs that make you drowsy or dizzy before exercise.
DO schedule your exercise sessions like you would any other appointment.
DON’T exercise if you have sign of an infection (such as a sore throat, swollen glands, fever, or deep cough).
DO use proper form so you don’t get hurt.
DON’T do very demanding activities like digging, heavy housework, or carrying or lifting heavy objects if you have a heart condition.
DO exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Exercise at least 60 minutes daily to lose weight or maintain weight loss.
DON’T push it. Start slowly and build up a little bit at a time.
DO use the right equipment and wear the right shoes for the activity