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A Step in the Right Direction

Exercising for Your Heart Health

Making physical activity part of your daily routine now can pay off with a lifetime of health benefits. Small steps can lead to a better quality of life, so it is worthwhile to make changes in your everyday routine in order to improve your health.

Increasing Physical Activity and Reducing Sedentary Time Can Help You

  • Improve blood pressure and diabetes levels
  • Reduce risk of developing blood pressure and diabetes
  • Sharpen mental clarity
  • Improve sleep patterns
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Control weight and reduce body fat
  • Increase self-esteem

What You Can Do Now to Put Your Best Foot Forward

  • Get up to stretch and move around after each hour of sitting
  • Develop a support system of friends and family that you can rely on for encouragement
  • Get your loved ones moving together, and include your family pet!
  • Encourage your co-workers to go outside and hold "walking meetings"
  • Use stairs instead of an elevator
  • Choose parking spots further from the entrance
  • Minimize time in front of TV and computer screens
  • Track your physical activity to stay motivated! -- Use pen & paper, a tracking app, or mobile device.

Sticking wit h one small change at a time for 4-6 weeks helps it become pa rt of your daily routine. Improving your health with small steps can be easier than you might imagine.

This infographic is based on research conducted within RAND Health and documented in the Effects of Constrained Choices and Social Policies (Cambridge University Press, 2008) by Chloe E. Bird and Patricia P. Rieker. RAND is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and committed to the public interest. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.

The research described in this report was conducted within RAND Health.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Infographic series. RAND infographics are design-focused, visual representations of data and information based on a published, peer-reviewed product or a body of published work.

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