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Move More Month: “Dying is Easy; Living Takes Hard Work”

The American Heart Association recommends 75 minutes of vigorous activity, or 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity, per week. (Mabel Amber/Pixabay)
The American Heart Association recommends 75 minutes of vigorous activity, or 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity, per week. (Mabel Amber/Pixabay)
April 3, 2019

MADISON, Wis. - April is "Move More Month," challenging folks to make the kinds of small lifestyle changes that can have a big impact on their health.

The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous physical activity, but also reports that nearly half of adults aren't active enough to stay healthy.

Cardiologist Dr. Simone Fearon, medical director and physician leader, ThedaCare Cardiovascular Care, said working small changes into your daily routine can bring long-term benefits.

"Incorporate exercise into the day," she said. "Maybe park a little bit farther when you're shopping, so you're walking a little bit more there. Things like taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator."

On the upside, the American Heart Association said moving more can make anyone feel better - physically and emotionally. It has dubbed today "Move More Day," as the official kickoff for Move More Month.

Fearon said cardiovascular disease is behind one-third of all deaths in the United States, more than any other cause and more than all types of cancer combined. However, she said, it often can be avoided, with effort - and one eye on the future.

"Look at your lifestyle," she said. "Where you are right now is going to produce where you are in 10 years. Dying is easy. Living takes hard work."

She cautioned not to aim too high right away, because you could set yourself up for failure. Fearon said the trick is to build the changes gradually into your lifestyle; otherwise, you could be like a plane temporarily taken off auto-pilot.

"You say, 'OK, you know what? I'm going to lose 10 pounds.' And you clean out the refrigerator, you clean out the pantry," she said. "If the mindset doesn't change, what happens is that, once all that turbulence settles, then you go right back into that 'auto-pilot' mode."

More tips for making healthy changes are on the American Heart Association's website, heart.org, and information on Move More Month is here.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - WI