Easing into exercise – Harvard Health

Even short stints of structured exercise may improve your heart health — and it’s never too late to start.

Are you one of those people whose typical day includes doing chores around the house and yard, running errands, and caring for a spouse, grandkids, or pets? Having a busy, active life is one reason people think they don’t need to set aside time devoted solely to exercise, says Gisele Bousquet, program director at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program in Foxborough, Mass.

“People say, I’m very active, I’m always on the go,” she says. Being physically active is good, she tells them. But doing regular moderate exercise — ideally for at least 30 minutes most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure and many other risk factors linked to heart disease. Even if you’ve never done formal exercise, starting in the second half of life can still make a difference (see “Exercise: Even starting after 60 can help”).

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