Becoming "Heart Healthy"

Step 1 of American Heart Association's Simple 7 Plan is “Get Active.”

TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 31, 2010) - It's easy to get so overwhelmed by work, family commitments and other activities that you feel too tired or too busy for exercise and physical activity. How often has it happened that you sit at your desk for what feels like an hour, only to look up and realize half of the day has passed?

Just 30 minutes of physical activity every day can reduce your risks for heart disease, which can lead to a healthier, longer life. Here are a few, easy ways to help you increase your physical activity on even the busiest of days:

· Park your car on the far side of the parking lot, or park one lot away from where you normally park.

· Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

· Walk with a friend at lunch, or form a walking group. A 15-30 minute walk on campus will get you out of the office, provides exercise and can reduce stress by clearing your mind.

· Catch up with family or friends by walking together in the evenings.

· Join the Campus Recreation Center. The Recreation Center offers group fitness classes throughout the day, including classes before and after work, as well as at noon.

USF's health insurance providers also offer discounts on gym memberships and wellness-related products and services. For more information on what your plan offers, please click on your insurance provider below.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield
United Health Care
Capital Health Plan
Florida Health Plan
Coventry Health Care

This is the first of seven benefits tips on how to improve heart health, featuring the American Heart Association's Simple 7 plan. USF is participating in this year's American Heart Association Heart Walk on Saturday, November 6, 2010. For more information on how you can join the Heart Walk, click here or email Carol Sands at