If you are one of the millions of Americans with coronary artery disease, adopting an exercise program could help lower your risk factors. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in America. Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for developing coronary artery disease.
According to the American Heart Association, “Coronary artery disease is characterized by deposits of fatty substances, cholesterol, calcium and other substances in the inner lining of arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle.” The AHA also warns that, “Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke and is linked to cardiovascular mortality.”
While the statistics may seem ominous, there is a silver lining that gives you the power to control your risk factors. Studies show that regular physical activity can reduce your risk of fatal heart disease. “Regular aerobic physical activity increases your fitness level and capacity for exercise. It also plays a role in both primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, “says the AHA. And when you combine physical activity with other lifestyle measures, such as losing and maintaining a healthy weight, the greater the chance of warding off heart disease.
High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and stress all put a strain on your heart and play a role in heart disease. The AHA says that regular physical activity can help control blood lipid abnormalities, diabetes and obesity. The association cites aerobic physical activity as an effective way to help reduce blood pressure. Exercise, not only helps you control your weight, it also reduces your chances of developing the above compromising conditions.
Guidelines from the American Heart Association recommend that you get at least 30 to 60 minutes of moderately intense physical activity at least five times a week. If you’re currently inactive however, you may want to consider breaking up your workout into 10-minute intervals to get started. Studies also showed an improvement for those who had already suffered a heart attack.