Little effort, big reward for your heart health

Little effort, big reward for your heart health

Sometimes, simply doing a little goes a long way. Researchers from Oxford University in England followed women for a decade and found that those who participated in light to moderate workouts each week significantly lowered their chances of heart disease, stroke and blood clots.

Researchers asked more than one million women, whose average age was 56-years-old, and who had no prior vascular disease, to report their amount of physical activity. A decade later, they were asked how many hours they spent walking, cycling, gardening and doing housework, which are all considered moderate workouts.

Women who exercised two to three times a week experienced 20 percent lower risk of heart disease, stroke and blood clots.

“Women don’t have to be super athletes or strenuously exercise daily to experience the benefits of physical activity,” said Miranda Armstrong, lead author of the study in a news release. “Based on the findings, it’s clear that inactive middle-aged women should try to do some activity regularly.”

Dr. Anupama Shivaraju, a cardiologist at Advocate Heart Institute, recommends performing 30 minutes of continuous activity at least five times a week, if possible.

“It’s amazing how simply walking or doing light activity can make such a dramatic impact on your heart,” says Dr. Shivaraju, who practices at Advocate Trinity Hospital. “We are not asking anyone to run a marathon or do anything overly strenuous. A little exercise makes a big difference and can keep you feeling better and healthy.”

Do you know your risk for heart disease? Take our heart risk assessment here. If you are at high risk, see one of Advocate Heart Institute’s cardiologists within 24 hours.

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One Comment

  1. Are there any tips for women who have arthritis in their knees and might not be able to do long periods of standing or walking?

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.