Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physical Activity Exerts Many Heart-Healthy Benefits

Date:
February 23, 1999
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Physical activity does more than tone up the heart and reduce the risk of heart attacks. Moderate physical activity -- aerobic as well as pumping iron -- fortifies various segments of the cardiovascular system.

DALLAS -- Physical activity does more than tone up the heart and reduce the risk of heart attacks. Moderate physical activity -- aerobic as well as pumping iron -- fortifies various segments of the cardiovascular system. In an article appearing in Circulation, Journal of the American Heart Association, Roy J. Shephard, M.D., of the University of Toronto and Gary J. Balady, of Boston University Medical Center, say regular, moderate intensive activity reduces the risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke. The effects, however, are broader than many think. An analysis of almost 100 studies has shown:

* Regular physical activity lowers blood pressure and prevents the development of high blood pressure. In someone with mild high blood pressure, physical activity leads to a drop in blood pressure that is sustained for eight to 12 hours. Blood pressure is lower on days when a person is physically active compared to when the individual is not.

* Someone who is very inactive has six times the risk of heart disease as someone who is active.

* An individual who exercises can expect to have a 24 percent drop in blood levels of cholesterol and a 10 percent drop in low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the 'bad' cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. The high-density lipoprotein (HDL) 'good' cholesterol will go up 6 percent. The amount of physical activity needed to reduce cholesterol is not very much, the studies show.

* Physical activity also benefits the blood-clotting system, reducing the body's ability to produce dangerous blood clots that can obstruct blood vessels to the heart, thereby causing a heart attack or stroke. After three months of physical activity by middle-aged, overweight men with mildly elevated blood pressure, one study reported that platelet aggregation was reduced by 52 percent, compared to 17 percent with a control group. Platelets play a role in blood clot formation. A reduction in platelet aggregation leads to a reduced risk of blood clots that can trigger heart attacks and strokes.

* Another benefit is found in the endothelial cells that line blood vessels feeding the heart and brain. Physical activity improves their ability to produce nitric oxide, a substance that causes the blood vessels to relax and contract more efficiently. Physical activity also reduces heart rate variability -- dangerous swings in heart rate -- in patients who suffered from heart attacks.

* Physical training affects both healthy people as well as those with heart disease. After starting an exercise program, moderate physical activity three to five times a week will improve cardiovascular function in eight to 10 weeks as well as improve risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Experts say that to maintain these health benefits, people need to stick with the program.

* The more strenuous the physical activity, the more beneficial it is -- up to a point. There is a law of diminishing returns with increased exercise. The authors say that it's best to consult with a physician before beginning any exercise program to achieve the maximum benefit.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Physical Activity Exerts Many Heart-Healthy Benefits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990223082050.htm>.
American Heart Association. (1999, February 23). Physical Activity Exerts Many Heart-Healthy Benefits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990223082050.htm
American Heart Association. "Physical Activity Exerts Many Heart-Healthy Benefits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990223082050.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins