Posted on Jul 15, 2019, 6 p.m.
Cardio exercises can be challenging, especially for couch potatoes, but according to a new study neglecting aerobic exercise greatly increases the risk of a future heart attack, even for people who appear to be in good physical health.
In a release Bjarne Nes of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology says, “We found a strong link between higher fitness levels and a lower risk of heart attack and angina pectoris over the nine years following the measurements that were taken.”
The most fit individuals in the study among the top 25%were found to have had half the heart attack risk of those in the bottom 25%, meaning even if someone shows no sign of cardiovascular problems the less they exercise the more risk they will be at in the future.
Between 2006-2008 cardiorespiratory fitness of 4,527 participants were measured; none had cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, or cancer at the time of the survey, and most were considered to have low risk of cardiovascular disease over the next 10 years.
147 participants had heart attacks or were diagnosed with angina pectoris by 2017 contrary to previous prediction. Participants were grouped based on fitness levels in relation to others of the same gender and age to investigate why. As overall fitness increased the risk of heart attack and coronary blockage was found to have declined.
As published in the European Heart Journal according to the researchers, even a small increase in fitness levels can have a big impact on heart health; an increase of 3.5 fitness points resulted in a 15% decrease in the likelihood of suffering a heart attack.
“Our results should encourage people to use training as preventive medicine. A few months of regular exercise that gets you out of breath can be an effective strategy for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease,” comments study author Jon Magne Letnes.
Materials provided by:
Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.