AHA: Some exercise better than none in preventing heart disease

Dallas – Even small amounts of physical exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease, indicates a study released Aug. 1 by the American Heart Association. The risk of heart disease decreases as amounts of daily activity increase, according to a study abstract.

Although government guidelines call for 2.5 hours of physical activity per week, the study found that exercisers who did not meet the recommended guidelines had a lower risk of coronary heart disease than those who did not exercise at all. The benefits of exercise were stronger among women than men.

The study, which was the first to quantify the value of exercise on heart disease, also found that people who engaged in the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity weekly had a 14 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease than those who reported no exercise.

The study was published online in the journal Circulation.

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