Fire up the game console
Pumping 23,000 rounds of ammo into space aliens should do wonders for your stress and, by extension, your blood pressure. But sorry, you need to stand up from the couch to make video games count. The American Heart Association officially stamped its seal of approval on Nintendo’s motion-sensor-based Wii Fit Plus and Wii Sports Resort games in May, recommending them as legitimate ways to stay active.
Timothy Church, M.D., chairman of the American Heart Association’s physical activity committee, says playing certain Wii activities, such as boxing and jogging, is as good as hitting the gym—as long as you’re playing with at least moderate intensity for a minimum of 150 minutes a week. This can lower your systolic blood pressure by 2 to 5 points. “Some of the activities in Wii Fit can qualify as your 30 minutes a day of physical activity,” he says. “You’ll be sweating buckets.”