Most of us know that inactivity can lead to some pretty alarming health issues. If you or someone you know is on the fence about getting active, new research out of the American Heart Association’s Circulation Journal that was just published five days ago should create some encouragement create some healthy habits.
The AHA study took a look at 11,000 middle-aged Americans over time. They found that those that exercised at recommended levels had a significantly lower risk of heart failure. Heart failure is not sudden. It is marked by a long-term deterioration of the heart’s ability to pump blood. Those adults that were not physically active were linked to an increased risk of serious heart issues. Heart failure is becoming more common as we live longer lives. There aren’t very many tools we have to prevent it so this study is encouraging.
So what are recommended activity levels? For adults, that is at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Our recommendation is to find something that you enjoy doing so that you will keep doing it. Many people find that it’s helpful to find someone to exercise with or join a group. Bottom line, figure out how to turn this into a habit you can sustain.
Don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t always hitting your exercise goals. In this study, fewer than 50% of people were active at recommended levels.