27 Feb 2014 10:19:35 MST Written by: Administrator

Exercise and Your Heart

Being a couch potato doesn't just increase your chances of gaining weight. It's also a major risk factor for heart disease.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), heart disease is almost twice as likely to develop in inactive people as in those who are more active. And, the activity doesn't have to be Olympic in nature. Studies show that even mild to moderate exercise can help.

Getting started

What kind of exercise are we talking about? According to the American Medical Association (AMA), aerobic activities are best for the healthy heart. Examples include:

  • brisk walking
  • jogging
  • cycling
  • swimming
  • aerobics classes

AMA says moderate-intensity activities such as gardening, dancing or walking a dog are also useful to health, even if their intensity doesn't classify them as aerobic.

Before starting an exercise program, it's best to check with your doctor, especially if you have a family or personal history of heart disease.

Read more about Exercise and Your Heart in the MMH Health Library.

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