Heart disease is a leading killer of men and women. The encouraging news is that in many, if not most, cases disease of the cardiovascular system can be prevented. Practicing weight management and enjoying a balanced, healthy diet and exercise can go far in keeping the cardiovascular system healthy. While it is best to lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by developing healthy habits early, even those who have been diagnosed with heart disease and other factors that increase the risk of developing unhealthy heart conditions typically find that it is not too late to get started with a heart-healthy diet and fitness routine.

High blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes are risk factors for developing heart problems. These factors also are generally affected by diet and exercise. Therefore, engaging in exercises for a healthy heart can also lower the risk of developing other conditions that are related to lifestyle. Beginning a new exercise routine can be as simple as starting with light stretches and going for a daily walk after work. People who lead an inactive lifestyle may be concerned that they lack the energy to go for a walk after completing a workday; however, even by starting slow, they will likely experience increased energy, strength, and endurance over time, which will enable them to increase their activity level. It may also be helpful to go for a walk in the middle of the day after lunch, or in the morning for early risers.

Exercise can also be implemented throughout the day by taking the stairs instead of an elevator all the time, parking farther away from the entrance to buildings and shopping centers, and even walking to locations nearby like the deli or mini mart. The key to implementing exercise for a healthy heart and improved lifestyle is to participate in enjoyable activities. People who love to garden may find that gardening is a great way to become more active. Sports lovers may enjoy returning to the tennis court or organizing a casual soccer game with friends or joining a sports league for working adults in their free time.

The options for getting fit are endless. The key to becoming more active is to consult a physician before beginning a new fitness routine and to choose an activity that is healthy, safe, and fun.