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HOW MOVING YOUR BODY CAN HELP YOUR HEART

We all start a new exercise plan with great intentions. Then sometimes your schedule gets in the way. Other times, it’s simply a lack of motivation.

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The first thing to do before you start any exercise routine is to talk to your doctor.

Once you get the go-ahead, here are six tips to help you stick to your exercise plan.

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOURSELF

Consider your workout program a commitment, just like work or school. Put it on your calendar. Stick to your exercise “appointment” like any other obligation.

BE ACCOUNTABLE TO OTHERS

It’s harder to stay on the couch when someone is waiting for you – whether it’s your walking buddy or a trainer at the gym. Double bonus: studies show you’ll also spend more time in your exercise routine when you have a friend along.

MAKE IT FUN

Join a softball league. Take a ballroom dancing class. Go bowling. In other words, take the “routine” out of exercise routine because exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore. If you’re having fun, you’re more likely to stick with your fitness program.

MIX IT UP

If you keep doing the exact same workout routine each day, you’re more likely to get bored and give up. To prevent this from happening, mix up your activities so things don’t become repetitive and boring.

GET TECHY

From wearable devices to apps, it’s easier than ever to track your progress, see results and set goals. And if a little healthy competition motivates you, join an online community and participate in challenges.

REWARD YOURSELF

Set a goal, such as staying on track with your exercise routine for a full week or month. If you succeed, give yourself a little treat like a movie, massage, or pedicure.

Remember, everyone slips up now and again. Missing a workout or two won’t cancel out six months of dedication to your exercise plan. The key is to jump right back in and recommit to your routine – and your health!

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IT TAKES 21 DAYS TO DEVELOP A HABIT

Even if you were a marathoner and are now recovering from a heart attack, nobody expects you to pick up your next race bib tomorrow. So be patient with yourself, stick with it, and let time do its work.

THE HEART HEALTH RISK TOOL1

LEARN YOUR RISK OF A HEART ATTACK OR STROKE

Do you know your risk factors?2 Find out and get a personalized heart-healthy action plan to share with your doctor.

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HEART ATTACK SURVIVOR STORIES