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Health and Wellness

No time, no problem: simple ways to get your heart pumping

Despite its importance being common knowledge, up to 66% of men and 74% of women in the UAE don't do enough exercise. But you don’t have to rush to your local gym: becoming just a little more active will make a real difference. Think of exercise in terms of everyday activity: the more you do, the better your fitness and the lower your risk of heart disease.

How much exercise is enough?

Walking more than 4 hours a week is significantly associated with reducing your risk of hospitalization for CVD. You can break that down to around 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week, or a little over 30 minutes daily. Walk to lunch with friends, and try and add another couple of thousand steps in the evening. Use your weekends to hit your target and get to discover the streets around where you live.

How can I increase my activity levels?

Keep it simple, and remember that the more enjoyable exercise is, the more likely you'll do it on a regular basis. Try new places at lunchtime; especially now that it’s winter – who knows what new lunch options you might discover? Take the stairs or walk up escalators – and enjoy the benefits of toned legs! When you get home, remember even energetic household chores like vacuuming count as exercise.

And of course, consider that ‘what gets measured gets done’.

Consider getting a step tracker. There are many trackers available that will record how many steps you walk each day taken. This will give you a base level from which you can set targets to increase your daily activity.

 

References

Aljefree, N. and Ahmed, F., (2015). Prevalence of Cardiovascular Disease and Associated Risk Factors among Adult Population in the Gulf Region: A Systematic Review. Advances in Public Health, Volume 2015, Article ID 235101, 23 pages http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/235101. Hindawi Publishing Corporation Andrea Z. LaCroix, Suzanne G. Leveille, Julia A. Hecht, Louis C. Grothaus, Edward H. Wagner, (1996). Does Walking Decrease the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Hospitalizations and Death in Older Adults? Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 44:113–120, 1996

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