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"Move More Month" Encourages South Dakotans to Get Active

Health professionals say 30 minutes a day, five days a week, is a minimum exercise goal for heart health. (eldercarealliance.org)
Health professionals say 30 minutes a day, five days a week, is a minimum exercise goal for heart health. (eldercarealliance.org)
April 4, 2018

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Exercise is the simplest way to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, but only about half of South Dakotans get the recommended level of physical activity to keep those health risks at bay. The American Heart Association is hoping its "Move More" campaign this month will change that.

Krista Coughlin, a nurse who administers heart and stroke screenings at Avera Heart Hospital, said that not surprisingly, most of the people she sees who don't exercise claim they don't have the time.

"But when you flip it and you start thinking about, 'This is like a gift to myself, and I gift my time to so many other things.' But if we don't take care of our own health, we can't be the best we can be for all of our other obligations that we have," she said.

During the Move More campaign, you can share your progress on getting active by using #HealthyForGood or #MoveWithHeart on social media.

In her experience, Coughlin said. many people who don't exercise as a way to improve their health often tell her they have a physical condition that causes them pain.

"If they have a pain issue, I might say, 'Have you ever thought about maybe stationary bike, or maybe an elliptical, or pool or water works?' Because it just might be less painful," she said. "They just have to think outside the box of things they they can can do that will keep them active, but won't hurt them so much."

Health professionals say 30 minutes a day, five days a week should be a minimum exercise goal. However, Coughlin said, if you're a walker who counts steps, you need to make sure some of those steps are at a brisk enough pace to provide heart benefits.

"If you feel like somebody called you on the phone and they would be going, 'What are you doing? You're kind of winded' - that's moderate intensity," she said, "and that's where you want to be if you're trying to lower your risk factors."

In addition to improving heart health, she said exercise is known to relieve anxiety and depression and enhance sleep quality.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - SD