Exercise is an important part of a heart healthy lifestyle. It can help us to maintain a healthy weight, raise HDL cholesterol, and decrease blood pressure. If you are just starting out, remember to go easy on yourself. Taking on too much too soon can easily cause us to feel overwhelmed.

When attempting to start an exercise routine, a great trick is to offer yourself an “easy day”. This means that all you have to do is make it to the gym and put in 10 easy minutes of exercise. When the 10 minutes is up, if you still aren’t feeling it, you can opt to go home with the satisfaction of knowing that 10 minutes at the gym is better than 10 minutes on the couch. In most cases however, that 10 minutes will get the blood flowing and the energy pumping, and you will likely feel up to putting in a little more time and effort.

Remember, building steady habits is the overall goal. That might mean putting in quite a few “easy days” in the beginning. Once you are feeling ready to bump it up a notch you will have already established the good habit of regularly making it to the gym.

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