Exercise may cancel out heart risks if you're overweight and middle-age

Posted at 5:28 PM, Mar 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-06 18:45:46-05

This study shows how important exercise is. Researchers monitored over 5,000 adults aged 55 and older for 15 years. 

They were split into groups based on their body mass index. Everyone at the start had no signs of heart disease.  Irrespective of how obese the participants were, the researchers found those who exercised regularly had a decreased risk of heart disease.

Researchers found high levels of exercise seemed to lower plaque and reduce oxygen demand on the heart. This is great news no matter what your age. 

If you’re overweight or obese, beginning an exercise regime may be difficult.

Partha’s RX
1. Start off slowly so you don’t strain your body. As your stamina increases, gradually add more activity. 
2. Don’t hit the gym if you know you’ll be discouraged the minute you walk in. Focus on activities that interest you.  Try walking around your house or dancing in your living room.
3. Set small goals based on what you can do now.  Keep a journal to track your progress.
4.  Set a long term goal to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. That’s only 30 minutes per day 5 times a week but you can break it down into what works best for you.

This study found the participants BMI didn’t matter if the person was exercising regularly. But let’s be clear that obesity overall is associated with a higher risk of heart disease. Excess weight accelerates the hardening of your arteries.  And during this study, those who were obese and did not exercise had the highest rate of heart disease.