Being in better shape can reduce your risk of heart attack by 50 percent, new research shows. And experts say it's enough to help you see exercise as preventive medicine.
The study published this year in European Heart Journal goes along with a growing mound of links between good cardiorespiratory fitness and good health -- like preventing heart disease and diabetes, fighting obesity, and managing blood pressure.
Cardiorespiratory fitness refers to the efficiency of the heart, lungs and vascular system. It describes how well our bodies deliver oxygen to our muscles during physical activity.
After following 4,500 people over nine years, researchers concluded that even a small improvement in fitness could bring important gains for heart health.
"Our results should encourage people to use training as preventive medicine," one of the doctors said. "A few months of regular exercise that gets you out of breath can be an effective strategy for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease."
The National Institutes of Health agrees that getting more exercise is key to a strong heart. So are following a heart-friendly diet, sticking to a healthy weight, and managing stress.
Working out regularly is good for all of that. We are here to help you get moving and establishing healthy physical routines -- for better life and longer life.