According to the American Heart Association, physical inactivity is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke and is linked to cardiovascular mortality.
The AHA said, “Heart disease – also called cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease – is a simple term used to describe several problems related to plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries, or atherosclerosis.”
But you can take control of your health, “by exercising for 30 minutes or more a day, you can reduce your risk of heart disease.”
Now a new study by the American Heart Association, as reported in ScienceDaily.com gives more reason for those approaching retirement to keep moving or get moving.
“Middle-aged adults who regularly engage in leisure-time physical activity for more than a decade may enhance their heart health.”
The study was published in the AHA’s journal Circulation and conducted at The University College in London, U.K.
More than 4,000 people around 50 years old were followed during the study. They kept track of their “leisure-time physical activities such as brisk walking, vigorous gardening, cycling, sports, housework and home maintenance.”
While gardening, housework or home repair certainly do not feel like Olympic sports, these activities can still burn a significant amount of calories.
According to Fitday.com, you can burn more than 200 calories gardening or doing carpentry work, while cleaning the house can burn almost 150 calories.
Head researcher Mark Hamer, Ph.D., was quoted on ScienceDaily as saying, "These leisure-time activities represent moderate intensity exercise that is important to health. It is especially important for older people to be physically active because it contributes to successful aging."
The American Heart Association encouraged doing housework instead of hiring others to do it. But if scrubbing your floor does not sound like fun, walking is a nice way to get started.
The AHA said that “Walking has the lowest dropout rate of any type of exercise as well as being the single most effective form of exercise to achieve heart health.”