Being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol which keeps your blood flow smooth decreasing your risk of cardiovascular diseases. As a matter of fact, regular physical activity can help prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer and arthritis. Spending two and a half hours a week doing light physical activity, like brisk walking, can lower the risk of coronary heart disease by 25 per cent in women under age 50, according to new research.
For the study, published in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, the researchers took women aged between 27-44 and found that women with the highest level of light physical activity were at a 25 per cent lower risk incidence of coronary heart disease.
"Our reason for carrying out this study was primarily to focus on younger women. We wanted to identify steps that young women could take to lower their incidence of coronary heart disease," said Andrea Chomistek, Assistant Professor, Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington.
According to the study, activity did not have to be strenuous to be beneficial. Moderately intense activities such as brisk walking were associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease. The frequency of physical activity did not affect the outcome as long as the total weekly time was at least 150 minutes and regardless of their body weight when they began, women reduced their coronary heart disease risk by engaging in physical activity, revealed the study. "Most women can improve their heart health significantly by incorporating some moderate or vigorous physical activity into their regular routine. Physical activity appears to be beneficial across the lifespan, regardless of body weight," added Chomistek.