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Any Movement Counts

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Light Housework, Even Gardening, Can Help Prevent Heart Disease

Heart disease statistics are ugly!  Each year, one in four people die of heart disease, making it the number one killer in the United States - it’s also the leading cause of death for American women.  Ladies (and gentlemen) can avoid heart disease by not smoking, making healthier food choices or becoming more physically active.  Activities that increase heartrate are ideal, but everyday chores such as folding laundry, gardening or dusting can provide a benefit too.  These findings were published in JAMA Network Open. 

Researchers enrolled over 5,800 women between 63-97 years old.  Participants wore movement trackers to record any and all activity 24 hours a day for seven days.  Their heart health was then evaluated and recorded for the next five years. 

Investigators found that light physical activity resulted in a 22% less risk of stroke and a 42% less risk of heart attack compared to those who were more sedentary.  These findings fall right in line with the 2018 updates to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans which suggest that “all movement counts” when it comes to heart disease prevention.  For some, the mere idea of sweating can completely squash the thought of doing any kind of activity.  Fortunately, any level of activity will make a difference for health.  So go for it! 

Published July 1, 2019

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