Harvard Men's Health Watch

How to get more heart-healthy exercise today

If you aren't physically active, chances are it's more than a coincidence if you have heart disease. The next step is to get more exercise, but what kind and how much? Here are some get-started options from Dr. Deepak L. Bhatt, director of the Integrated Interventional Cardiovascular Program at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Walking. For formerly inactive men, the best way to start is daily walking. "Brisk walking is certainly good for the heart and the vascular system, but it's also good for everything else—the joints, the muscles, the bones," says Dr. Bhatt. "It keeps everything going." You should feel the benefits of daily walking fairly soon, with more energy, a lighter mood, and less joint pain—to name just a few benefits identified in research.

Cardio workout. If you want to step it up a bit to more strenuous "cardio" workout at a health club, check in with your doctor to make sure it's safe to do so.

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