The Simple Way To Boost Your Heart Health By 46%
If the inner tube that’s usually in the pool during those lazy, hazy days of summer is now firmly around your middle, here’s some news that’ll help deflate it and strengthen your heart in the process.
Daily exercise reduces your risk for heart failure by a whopping 46%, according to a big new study published in the journalCirculation. From 1997 to 2010, Swedish researchers tracked the exercise habits and heart failure rates of nearly 40,000 adults (all of whom were healthy at the outset). The more active folks were, the lower their risk of heart failure. And while any amount of exercise was better than none, those with the lowest heart failure risk did either 60 minutes of moderate activity (e.g., walking) or 30 minutes of vigorous activity (e.g., running) every day.
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Note that this study focused on heart failure, a chronic condition in which pumping ability weakens over time until the heart can no longer deliver enough blood to meet the body’s needs. While it’s well established that exercise significantly lowers the risk for heart disease and stroke, much less was known about the long-term role it plays in maintaining heart muscle. Now it appears that working out to stave off one type of cardiovascular problem can also help prevent another.
Even if you don’t have the time or aren’t able to exercise 30 to 60 minutes daily, you can still reduce your heart disease risk. Kasper Andersen, MD, PhD, and his study co-authors at Sweden’s Uppsala University saw the largest positive effects among formerly sedentary people who followed the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 2½ hours of moderate exercise per week.
Video: How to improve your heart health
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