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American Heart Association Officials Encourage South Dakotans to "Move More"

American Heart Association

Officials with the American Heart Association call April "Move More Month." They want people to exercise in hopes of lowering their risk of heart disease and stroke. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 54 percent of South Dakotans get the recommended level of exercise.

That's 30 minutes a day, five days a week of moderate activity, or an hour and 15 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.

CDC officials say walking counts as moderate activity, and jogging is vigorous. 

Chrissy Meyer with the American Heart Association of South Dakota and North Dakota says that time doesn't have to be spent performing strenuous tasks.

"I think that there is a misperception that you have to be a marathon runner or be a gym rat or something like that to reap the benefits, and that's just not the case at all. One of the things we know is that one of the very best exercises that you can do for your heart is simply walking. And, so, we want to raise the benefits of physical activity but also let people know that there are a lot of different, great ways that you can get moving and to reap the benefits of a healthier lifestyle," Meyer says.

Meyer says walking to work instead of driving is an opportunity to add exercise into your daily routine.

CDC data from 2015 show about 19 percent of South Dakotans report they do not exercise in their free time.

Agency officials also recommend people do some type of muscular strength training at least twice a week.