Want a better way to track the types of physical activity you are doing? The American Heart Association’s Center for Health Technology & Innovation and Google Fit are making it easier to do just that with changes to the Google Fit platform. Right now, most wearables used to track physical activity rely on tracking activity but not intensity.
Google Fit is changing up the way they allow users to track by introducing Heart Points.
These new Heart Points, which are based on AHA physical activity recommendations, allow users to earn one or two points per minute depending on the intensity of the activity. You get one point for doing general activity, like walking your dog. If you decide to tackle more intense physical activity like running, kickboxing or playing basketball, you can get two Heart Points per minute. Cool, right? Who doesn’t want to earn an extra point by doing something a little extra for yourself?
Both Google and the American Heart Association hope that this new health metric will encourage adults to get moving more. Being active can help you lower blood pressure, boost levels of good cholesterol, improve blood flow, and keep your weight under control- all of which are good for staying heart healthy and living a long life.
So, how much activity should you be getting? Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise (aka brisk walking). Or, you can amp up your goal by getting 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (like running). Check out and share the American Heart Association’s recommendations for physical activity infographic.
Physical activity can help save your life because getting active is good for your heart! It. Find more ways to add movement into your day. When you start looking for them, you’ll see lots of opportunities to be more active. Remember, with Heart Points, all movement counts, and more intense movement counts even more.
Check out these 7 no-brainer ways to boost your activity level:
Grab the leash and walk your dog. Your body — and your pooch — will thank you!
Take your kid (or your spouse) for a walk. It’s an excellent way to get some face time without screens. Keep it fun by exploring new neighborhoods or turning your walk into a scavenger hunt.
Hit the mall. Are you sweating at the idea of walking outside? Take a fast stroll around the mall instead. Window shop, people watch and get active in a climate-controlled environment.
Walk and talk. Even if you’re glued to your phone for work calls, you don’t have to be glued to your chair. Make it a habit to talk and walk. Some workplaces have walking paths to make it even easier to burn while you earn.
Tune into fitness. Retrain your inner couch potato. Walk or jog in place, do yoga or lift weights, or walk on the treadmill at the gym while you watch your must-see TV shows.
Ditch the car. Spare yourself the parking stress and log some more active time by parking farther away (or even leaving the car at home) and walking or biking to your destination.
- Take the stairs. The elevator may go up — but it doesn’t make your heart rate climb. Take the stairs when you can, even if just for a floor or two. And don’t ride the escalator – climb it. Those can be active steps, too!
When you start looking for them, you’ll see lots of opportunities to be more active every day and get a few more steps in during everyday activities. Remember, every step counts!