You may be well aware that activity can build a healthy heart and reduce the risk for heart disease.
But you might not know that you don’t have to run a marathon or sweat buckets giving it your all on a Peloton bike.
Everyday household activities like gardening, cooking, and dishwashing all count in helping people at any age reduce the risk for heart attack.
A new study looked specifically at how household activities help women’s heart health, but men would likely experience the same benefits.
The research found that women who got at least four hours of such daily life movement had a 43-percent lower risk of heart disease, a 30-percent lower risk of stroke, and a 62-percent lower risk of dying from heart disease compared to those who had less than two.
You may not associate these daily activities with exercise, but your body can’t tell. As long as it’s moving, it will respond. Getting more activity each day, regardless of where it is coming from, can help improve blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
The study followed more than 5,400 women between 63 and 97. For a week, they wore a device to track how much time they spent sitting, standing still, doing regular life movements, walking, and running.
After a 6.5 year follow-up period, they found that, on average, participants clocked about 3.2 hours per day of daily movement and 9.6 hours of sitting time each day. Clearly, that’s a lot of sitting time. The study counted every bit of movement – from the time your feet hit the floor when you wake up until the time they’re picked up and snuggled in bed.
Finding more enjoyable and active things to do each day can go a long way in improving heart health. These activities may not substitute for more vigorous exercise, but it is certainly complementary and beneficial.
Basically, just try to find a way to spend more time moving. It’s good for you!