Move More To Fight Heart DiseaseIf Heart Disease Runs In Your Family, You Should Really Do This
Move more. The American Heart Association has designated April as “Move More” month. They suggest a starting goal of at 150 minutes a week. That breaks down to about 22 minutes a day. The activity can be light exercise or a workout, like a 20-minute walk during your lunch break. Pretty easy, right? This may sound simple (and it is) but adding activity time to your daily routine can also help you fight heart disease.
Last month a new British studied published in the American Heart Association Journal, Circulation, reported that high fitness levels were linked to a 49% lower risk for coronary heart disease and a 60% lower risk for atrial fibrillation. Even for those with a family history of cardiovascular trouble.
That’s right, if you have a history of heart disease in your family you might want to think twice about passing on the invite to join someone for a walk.
“The main message of this study is that genetic risk isn’t deterministic,” says Erik Ingelsson, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine and lead author of the UK study. “Even if your parents died early of heart disease, you can reduce your risk to the level of someone with no family history of the disease by increasing your fitness.”
The study examined 482,702 people in England, Scotland and Wales who participated in a research project known as UK Biobank, which recruited participants between 40 and 69 years old. Researchers followed the participants for about a decade, tracking activity and exercise through questionnaires, grip strength measurements and other tests. They found that regular exercise can help level the playing field for people with a family history of the disease.
Walking. Running. Bike riding. Anything you can do to increase your heart rate for 150 minutes a week with exercise or activity that increases your muscle strength and you can start reducing your risk of heart disease. Now, if we could only get this winter that never seems to end to make way for spring, sunshine, and the outdoors.
Written by: Michael Arce, Media Specialist
Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.