Preferred Health

What’s good for your mind and body is good for your heart. That’s why our new approach to this total health platform, introduced by the American Heart Association, gives you simple resources to help nourish your mind, heart and body with science you can trust and tools you can use. Let’s create healthy habits that stick!

Start today — and get healthy for good. Here are the facts:

We’re sitting too much. One in 4 U.S. adults sit for longer than eight hours each day, which can hurt your physical and mental health.

Physical activity is a powerful tool — and a mood booster. It also helps us reduce stress and lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Getting the recommended amount of physical activity a day is linked to lower risk of diseases, improved mental health and lower risk of depression.

Staying active can help you feel, think, sleep and live better. Studies show that higher fitness levels are linked to better attention, learning, working memory and problem solving. Getting the recommended amount of physical activity can also curb depression. And you may just live longer!

Let’s Get Started

Start small. Any movement is better than none, and more is better! Start out with just five minutes of movement and build from there or split it up throughout the day.

Step outside — and keep stepping. It’s a great way to get moving and take in some sunlight, which can improve mood, boost immunity and help you get some vitamin D.

Put a leash on it. If you have a pet, get moving together! Exercise is a win-win for both of you.

Commit to being fit.  Schedule time throughout the day to move. Set a reminder on your calendar, phone or journal.

Get some help.  Choose from one of the American Heart Association’s Fierce 5 minute movement break videos for inspiration.

Four-Week Breakdown – Week 1

Week 1:
Walking is one of the simplest ways to get active and stay active. With each step you take, you travel further down the path to a healthier lifestyle. Research has shown that walking can have a significant impact on your health by lowering your chances of heart disease.

Four-Week Breakdown – Week 2

Week 2:
Every journey, including your own to better health and wellbeing, begins with just one step. Although getting and staying healthy can feel like a big challenge, it doesn't have to be. Working small, positive steps into your daily life can help you build a healthier life routine.

Tying those positive steps to other things you already do regularly — a practice called "habit stacking," or "habit chaining" — can help turn them into ironclad habits. For instance, you could take a daily habit, like brushing your teeth, and add in a little movement, like doing five squats.

Four-Week Breakdown – Week 3

Week 3:
Exercise is one of the best ways to keep your body healthy and release stress. Regular physical  activity improves your mood, energy and sleep. Move more and stick with it! You’ll build more  opportunities to be active into your routine when you find ways to move that you like.

Four Week Breakdown – Week 4

Week 4:
Let’s get the whole family to move more! The American Heart Association recommends that healthy children stay active throughout the day. Kids 6 and older should get at least an hour of moderate to vigorous activity daily. This helps them maintain a healthy weight and keep their hearts, brains and bodies healthy.

More Healthy Resources

The American Heart Association has many resources to help people eat and live healthier.
Visit heart.org/HealthyforGood or these specific sites:

CPR
Get information on emergency cardiovascular care training, including programs for schools and workplaces.

CycleNation
Find out how to get involved in CycleNation, empowering people across the nation to use
road bikes, stationary bikes, spin classes and more to get heart and brain healthy, all while raising
funds to prevent heart disease and stroke.

Heart-Check Food Certification Program
Learn about how our Heart-Check mark on food packaging helps people find foods in the grocery store that can be part of their healthy eating plan.

Heart Walk
Find out how to get involved in your local. Heart Walk, our Signature event for companies, individuals and families.

Eat Smart Month
Commit to eating healthier, cooking at home and starting other healthy habits during September.

NFL PLAY 60
This free, fun, family-friendly app helps get kids moving.

Recipes
Discover how easy, budget-friendly and delicious healthy cooking can be.

School Events
Find out how to offer the Kids Heart Challenge/American Heart Challenge in your school.

Healthgrades' 2022 Health Observances Calendar
Throughout the year, there are countless health observances that raise awareness for a variety of conditions (both big and small) and also remind us to be proactive and stay on top of our health. These days or months are often celebrated by hospitals, healthcare nonprofits, patients, media, and social influencers.