The Relation between Exercise and Heart Health

Studies show that the best thing for a healthy heart is a healthy body. Exercise — from walking, to weight training, to Yoga — has been shown to have an inverse relationship with the risk for coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US for both men and women. Fighting this disease and its predictors, including obesity, is of huge importance for an ageing population and for those who aim to live well in all stages of life.

It has been known for many decades that obesity is indicative of heart disease, but the full extent of the relationship has more recently been examined by the American Heart Association:

Long-term longitudinal studies, however, indicate that obesity as such not only relates to but independently predicts coronary atherosclerosis.91415 This relation appears to exist for both men and women with minimal increases in BMI. In a 14-year prospective study, middle-aged women with a BMI >23 but <25 had a 50% increase in risk of nonfatal or fatal coronary heart disease,9 and men aged 40 to 65 years with a BMI >25 but <29 had a 72% increased risk.

By having an exercise regimen which includes measures to fight obesity, individuals may have the best chance for maintaining a healthy heart. In fact, studies have found that the relationship between exercise and instances of heart disease is inverse — more exercise means less heart disease, and of course a lower risk of obesity as well.

While more exercise is beneficial, the fact is that even brisk walking for a few hours a week is great for heart health. Our recommendation? Find your computers power button, and press it. Then, go for a jog!

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