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It is not always easy for women to find time to exercise, but the benefits of being active are enormous, and physical activity is an essential part of a heart-healthy lifestyle. Among other benefits such as helping manage a good weight balance and reducing stress, physical activity reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), the number one killer of women.
Aligning with the World Health Organization recommendations, the World Heart Federation encourages women to do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week- just over 20 minutes a day.
Physical activity keeps your heart healthy by:
And also has other benefits of:
Adult women should do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity (or a combination of the two) every week to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.Try doing just 30 minutes a day, or 15 minutes twice a day!
Children aged 5-17 should do at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
Moderate physical activity
Moderate physical activity increases your heart rate, but you should still be able to talk normally. It includes brisk walking, dancing, housework and gardening.
Vigorous physical activity
Vigorous physical activity increases your heart rate a lot, making you breathe so hard that it becomes difficult to talk. It includes running, cycling, swimming and playing competitive sports.
“I don’t have time to add physical activity to my day”. Does it sound familiar? Here are some tips to increase your level of physical activity even with a busy schedule.
To start with, physical activity is not confined to sport! You may already be more active than you think: physical activity also includes walking, going dancing with your partner or friends, playing with your children or even doing household chores.
Focus on physical activities that are…
Despite the fact that one in three women will die from cardiovascular disease, many women don’t know they are at risk and fail to take action to protect their heart. Being more active could be a good place to start!
Women are usually less physically active than their male counterparts. Several factors hinder the participation of women in physical activity, but they are not a fatality:
Football used to be associated to men, but there are now approximately 1.2 million registered female players in Europe, which makes football the number one team sport for girls and women across the continent.Why not you?
Football is considered to be one of the highest-intensity cardio sports as it requires constant motion. By getting the heart pumping at a faster rate on a regular basis, you will keep it in shape and healthy. It is also fun and accessible – you can join a proper football team, but also enjoy an occasional match with your friends and children.
For World Heart Day 2014, we encouraged women to try and pop up a football pitch – an easy way to get active and do something for your heart.
Learn more about the Make a healthy heart your goal campaign, encouraging women to be active and play football to protect their heart from cardiovascular disease
WHO World No Tobacco Day 2018 Awards – Region of the Americas: Dr Eduardo Bianco, Coordinador Regional para las Americas de la Framework Convention Alliance (FCA), Oriental Republic of Uruguay
WHO World No Tobacco Day 2018 Awards - European Region: British Heart Foundation, United Kingdom
WHO World No Tobacco Day 2018 Awards - European Region: Mrs Susanne Løgstrup, Director of the European Heart Network, Belgium
CVD Advocacy Toolkit - The Road to 2018
A healthy heart your goal