Exercise, even a little exercise, can help protect the heart. Federal guidelines recommend that people exercise at least 150 minutes a week at moderate intensity. That would translate into sweating and breathing hard for at least half an hour five days a week. A lot of people might feel intimidated by such a regular regimen and give up entirely on the grounds that they just don’t have that much time to devote to exercise.
A new meta-analysis of 33 studies of exercise and coronary heart disease risk shows that people who exercised 150 minutes a week did lower their risk by about 14 percent compared to those who sat on the couch. People who exercised even more–300 minutes a week–lowered their risk by about 20 percent. But the most important finding from this study is that people who exercised at all, even though they might not have gotten half an hour a day, were able to reduce their risk of heart disease too. According to the authors, their study offers support to the adage, “some physical activity is better than none.” The biggest improvement was among people who went from no physical activity to exercising just 10 or 15 minutes a day, an amount that is well within reach for most folks.
[Circulation, online Aug. 1, 2011]

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  1. ED

    A simple exercise known as the “bird dog exercise” is a good one. Many people use it as a means to stop lower back pain, it is an easy exercise to perform. There are many instructional videos on how to do it, and I followed one myself and it works wonders, by tensing up the muscles in your stomach and your back for a few seconds, which increases the strength of them and gets your heart working.

  2. OldNurse

    Exercising helps all our organs, not only the heart which is seriously affected by diabetes! People want to change to a healthier life-style but all the doom and gloom exhausts their already tired bodies. The Harvard doctor who started walking (in groups along the Charles River every morning) always told the group to walk but not so fast you couldn’t talk without huffing and puffing, and to walk all the time if you could instead of riding or driving.
    He had throngs of walkers, many in medical scrubs, etc. walking with him – and students, all of whom would “jump off” at their workplaces. One thing he prophesied, that there would be buildings built for excising to make money off of people’s health needs, when all people had to do was walk, move, and enjoy life. He was correct.
    Just move! Dance nude! Walk through malls, stores, go swim at a Y, or any pool, get in and wrap a noodle around you and “bike,” and have fun! Keep moving – the increased resistance of the water’s depth will reap 10X the rewards without the pain = gain! Once with any exercising group, you can just say you want to do better, get stronger, or lose weight, and everyone stops willing to help you and will join in.
    If you are sedentary, get up every 20 minutes and run in place, if it requires music, go for it, no one will mind, and if they do it’s their loss – literally.
    The goal is to enjoy life, don’t fret and fear – that causes illness too – called the effects of stress, which are at the basis of a lot of disease. The chemicals of stress block motor neurons from receiving protein, so people get neck aches, head aches, shoulder aches, back aches, and worse. Relax, laugh, and walk.

  3. fbl

    Vigorous exercise also improves our mood and how we feel about ourselves. I guess it is the endorphins produced by the body.

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