Staying active for better heart health
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Staying active for better heart health

Moving more every day is one of the best habits you can have.

Key takeaways

  • Live your best life by getting into the habit of being active – you’ll enjoy the benefits for the rest of your life  
  • Not sure how much to do? Check out the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines (below) which differ by age group. 
  • If you’ve already reached the recommended 30 minutes of activity a day for adults, try gradually building your minutes and/or intensity for even more benefits. 
  • Stay active year-round.  Mix up your activity between indoors and outdoors to be ready for any weather. 
5 min read
Regular physical activity strengthens your muscles, builds stronger bones and makes you feel better about yourself.  It makes you less likely to have a heart attack or develop heart disease. 

You can start at any age and feel the benefits for the rest of your life. If you’re a parent or carer of children, getting more active sets a great example and helps create healthy habits. 

Are you doing your 30 minutes a day?  

 If you are that’s great. You can make your heart health even better by picking up the pace. Try gradually increasing the amount you spend being physically active, or exercise intensity. You’ll feel great and see longer-term health benefits, too.  

If you aren’t, you’re not alone. More than half of all Australians aren’t active enough. Start slowly and gradually increase your physical activity. Consult your doctor for advice on the best exercises for you.  

Aim for 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate physical activity each week or 75 minutes (1 ¼ hours) of vigorous exercise. ‘Vigorous’ exercise requires more effort and makes you breathe harder and faster, for example, jogging. Moderate and vigorous physical activity can help improve heart health, blood pressure, cholesterol, muscle and bone strength.  

How to get active

You might also be interested in

7 tips for staying healthy over winter

7 tips for staying healthy over winter

7 tips for staying healthy over winter

Tips for healthy eating and recipe ideas over winter and how to exercise when it's cold outside. ...

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

The fundraising race where you set the pace. Run, jog or walk MyMarathon at your own pace during October....

Get your family moving

Get your family moving

Get your family moving

Get your kids active and set them up for healthier habits into adulthood....

Physical activity after a heart attack

Physical activity after a heart attack

Physical activity after a heart attack

Discover what you need to know about being active after a heart attack....

Active Australia Innovation Challenge

Active Australia Innovation Challenge

Active Australia Innovation Challenge

Make your bright idea a reality....

Personal Walking Plan

Personal Walking Plan

Personal Walking Plan

Feel healthier and happier in six weeks with a free Personal Walking Plan...

Benefits of physical activity for your heart

Benefits of physical activity for your heart

Benefits of physical activity for your heart

Physical activity and exercise can do wonders for your physical and mental health....

Get active during winter

Get active during winter

Get active during winter

Get ready to go with our winter workout tips....

Physical activity action plan

Physical activity action plan

Exercises to do at home

Exercises to do at home

Exercises to do at home

All you need to know about keeping active during COVID-19....

Heart Week

Heart Week

Heart Week

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Join our community of fundraisers who are committed to taking action to fight heart disease....

Trek for Australian Hearts

Trek for Australian Hearts

Trek for Australian Hearts

Join the Heart Foundation in South Australia for the journey of a lifetime, trekking the ancient Flinders Ranges to help save Australian hearts....

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Visit the St Vincents Hospital NSW and Heart Foundation Aboriginal heart health website for more information...

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation programs and resources to support your recovery....

Personal Walking Plan

Personal Walking Plan

Personal Walking Plan

Feel healthier and happier in six weeks with a free Personal Walking Plan...

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

There is no single cause for any one heart condition, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing one. ...

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Support for young adults: Online events

Support for young adults: Online events

Support for young adults: Online events

A series of virtual events for young adults on managing emotional wellbeing. ...

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Join the fight against Australia’s biggest killer by supporting the Heart Foundation.  ...

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart teaches school children how to keep fit and healthy through skipping!...

Managing your funding

Managing your funding

Managing your funding

Resources to help manage your grant, scholarship or fellowship....

Benefits of physical activity for your heart

Benefits of physical activity for your heart

Benefits of physical activity for your heart

Physical activity and exercise can do wonders for your physical and mental health....

Heart stories

Heart stories

Heart stories

Stories of hope from Australian men and women fighting heart disease....

Heart procedures and devices

Heart procedures and devices

Heart procedures and devices

If you have a heart condition, your doctor may recommend treatment or procedures...

Key Statistics: Heart Failure

Key Statistics: Heart Failure

Statistics and information on heart failure in Australia ...

The Heart Foundation Alumni Program

The Heart Foundation Alumni Program

The Heart Foundation Alumni Program

Stay connected with your research alumni community. ...

Q&A with Dr Jennifer Browne

Q&A with Dr Jennifer Browne

Food and Nutrition Policy for First Nations peoples – translating evidence into action...

10 ways to get the right balance of fats 

10 ways to get the right balance of fats 

10 ways to get the right balance of fats 

Getting the right balance of fats in your diet can improve your heart health....

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Women and heart disease

Information and resources for health professionals....

Become a corporate partner

Become a corporate partner

Become a corporate partner

Partner with us to help us fight for Australian hearts....

Your heart is your most important tool

Your heart is your most important tool

Your heart is your most important tool

Men’s Health Week is the perfect time to think about your heart....

Know your risk: Family history and heart disease 

Know your risk: Family history and heart disease 

Know your risk: Family history and heart disease 

A family history of heart disease could mean you are at greater risk....

Order patient resources online

Order patient resources online

Search and order from our range of printed patient resources online. ...

Heart Foundation Tick

Heart Foundation Tick

Heart Foundation Tick

The Tick Program has made a substantial contribution to the health of Australians over the past 26 years....

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Create your fundraiser at Do it for Heart

Become a Heart Foundation fundraiser, do it for heart and make a real difference to your community....

How a pacemaker at 34 saved my life

How a pacemaker at 34 saved my life

How a pacemaker at 34 saved my life

Kim shares the emotional and physical upheaval experienced on her journey to diagnosis and recovery....

Maryanne was shocked to find she had a hidden heart problem

Maryanne was shocked to find she had a hidden heart problem

Maryanne was shocked to find she had a hidden heart problem

At first, it didn’t cross my mind it could be something serious. ...

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) clinical resources

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Staying active for better heart health

Staying active for better heart health

Staying active for better heart health

Moving more every day is one of the best habits you can have....