If you’re like most adults, you know that regular physical activity is important for your overall health, but you may not know that it can also help reduce your risk of heart failure. A new study has found that moderate physical activity levels are associated with a lower risk of heart failure, even in those who are obese or have chronic kidney disease. Researchers say the findings underscore the importance of staying active, regardless of your health status. So, if you’re not currently active, now is an excellent time to start!
The study published in Circulation is one of the first to use objectively measured activity levels to estimate heart failure risk. Researchers have verified that the results are consistent with previous studies that found performing 150-300 minutes of moderate exercise or 75-150 minutes of vigorous exercise each week may reduce the incidence of heart attack and stroke.
Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition that can develop when the heart cannot pump sufficient blood to keep up with the body’s needs for blood and oxygen. This can lead to fatigue and difficulty breathing and can be fatal if not treated.
Heart failure affects more than 6 million adults in the United States, but the most common cause of heart failure is coronary heart disease, which occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle become blocked. Other causes include high blood pressure, heart valve disease, and heart rhythm disorders.
Treatment for heart failure typically includes lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and eating a healthy diet, and medications to help improve heart function and reduce fluid buildup. The American Heart Association recommends that adults should engage in at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.
“There are many potential ways that regular physical activity may reduce the risk of developing heart failure,” said Frederick K. Ho, Ph.D., co-lead author of the study. “For example, physical activity helps prevent weight gain and related cardiometabolic conditions, such as high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, all of which are risk factors for heart failure. Regular physical exercise may also strengthen the heart muscle, which, in turn, may prevent heart failure from developing.”
Researchers recommend that going above and beyond the current AHA recommendations for moderate activity could help provide an even greater risk against heart failure. “We found that moderate physical activity has the potential increased cardiovascular risk benefits up until 500 minutes/week, as appropriate for each individual,” said Dr. Ho.
Those who are most at risk for heart failure tend to have a BMI that meets the criteria for overweight or obese. They may also have high blood pressure and elevated glucose or cholesterol. However, this study helps to show that these same people may be particularly likely to benefit from increasing their physical activity.
Maintaining Heart Health
Keeping the heart strong and healthy is vital for enjoying a high quality of life as you age. Heart Rescue was designed to help support and promote cardiovascular health using a variety of ingredients, including omega-3 fatty acids, CoQ10, magnesium, and hawthorn extract. This formula’s health benefits can help strengthen the heart muscle, support circulation, and help reduce the risk of heart disease.