One risk factor for heart disease is having a family history of it. Normally, when a health problem runs in the family, it’s hard to change, even with other lifestyle habits. But researchers have found that there is something you can do that is effective at reducing your risk of heart disease, even if it runs in your family.
That one thing is exercise.
You’re probably tired of hearing about how you have to exercise, but why wouldn’t you do something that has proven time and time again to not only support overall health, but it can now even basically change your genetic predisposition.
The researchers looked at data from nearly half a million individuals and found that an increase in grip strength and greater physical fitness are all associated with better heart health.
At the start of the study, none of the participants had heart disease. The researchers found that exercise could help prevent heart attack and stroke, even among those with a genetic background of these diseases.
Participants with an intermediate risk for heart disease with the strongest grip had a 36 percent reduction in risk for coronary artery disease and 46 percent reduction in atrial fibrillation compared to those with the weakest grip.
Those with the highest genetic risk for heart disease but that also had the highest cardiorespiratory fitness levels had a 49 percent reduction of heart disease along with a 60 percent reduction of atrial fibrillation compared to those with low cardiorespiratory fitness.
Heart disease continues to be the number one killer in America, yet it has many manageable factors to help lower a person’s risk. Many people believed that if it ran in your family, there wasn’t much you could to do reduce this risk. This study now refutes that and reveals that exercise is a key component in protecting your heart, even with a genetic risk factor.
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