Researchers have found that 2 ½ hours of moderate physical activity per week or 30 minutes five days a week can lower the overall risk of heart disease by 14 percent, according to Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association.
Some exercise is better than none
The study found that people who engaged in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity leisure activity had a 14 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease compared to those who reported no physical activity. It also showed that people who exercise less than the recommended 2 ½ hours per week had a lower risk of heart disease than those who had no activity at all.
The findings prove you have to get your heart pumping every now and then to keep it healthy. The more you exercise, the better off you will be. While 150 minutes of exercise is beneficial, 300 minutes per week will bring even more benefits.
Parents need to be role models for their kids when it comes to exercise and eating healthy. There’s no better time to start heart-healthy habits than at the beginning of another school year.
Western Baptist Hospital is doing its part by initiating and supporting several programs in the region aimed at educating, informing and alleviating the national epidemic of childhood obesity. Our goal is to make children — and their parents and caregivers — “heart smart.”
One in three U.S. children is overweight or obese, which can lead to serious health problems now and later, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Children today may live two to five fewer years than their parents because of obesity, according to a 2005 government study.
Get more exercise
This most recent study backs up guidelines from the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services, which indicate that at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity is required to reduce the risk of chronic diseases in adulthood. Keep the following steps in mind to get moving:
• Recruit a walking buddy or training partner. Working out with a friend can provide accountability and incentive.
• Keep walking shoes at work and take a 30-minute walk break during lunch.
• Make walking around the block a family activity every evening.
Chest Pain & Stroke Hotline
If you have questions about heart attack or stroke symptoms, you can talk to a Western Baptist nurse free 24 hours a day on the Chest Pain & Stroke Hotline: 1-800-575-1911.
Send your questions!
Do you have a cardiac question tugging at your heart? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to HeartBeat, 2501 Kentucky Ave., Paducah, KY 42003. If we use it in a future HeartBeat column, you will receive a Western Baptist Hospital door prize.