There's a common tendency to think that high-intensity cardiovascular exercise is the best way to improve your heart health. There are certainly benefits to strenuous exercises like running or swimming, but they are far from the only ways to achieve better cardiovascular health. In fact, the American Heart Association says that one of the best ways to get back into heart-healthy shape involves a very basic everyday activity: walking. Walking regularly can not only increase your heart health, but also provides a number of possible benefits including strengthening your core and legs, reducing blood pressure and cholesterol as well as lowering your risk of stroke or heart disease.

Still, how do we measure our walking? We do it every day, so it's hard to think of it as a structured workout. If this is your frame of mind, you may want to consider investing in a pedometer. These devices, which count the number of steps you take, are a great way to determine exactly how much walking you've done. Best of all, they're fairly inexpensive and easy to use. Take a look at these ideas for pedometer workout plans.

Set a step goal

If you're looking for an easy way to incorporate a pedometer into your daily life, set a step goal and work towards walking more each day until you achieve it. Start by working towards 10,000 steps each day. Once you've achieved it, set the bar higher.

Make it a competition

According to Fitness, Americans average roughly 3,000 to 4,000 steps per day. Break that average by having a few friends get pedometers and competing to see who can walk the most in their day-to-day lives.

Save your data

While many pedometers come with internal logs to store information from days past, a spreadsheet will work just as well. Store your daily step count and determine your monthly or yearly average to help set new goals.

For more one exercising for heart health:

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Another Reason to Exercise: Reduce Depression, Improve Heart Health