Exercise lowers CHD risk

It’s a truism, but it’s still not universally accepted in people’s minds. Physical exercise keeps you healthy. Among other things, it reduces the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). This is even true for younger women, as a recent study has now shown.

In a study, scientists from Indiana University Bloomington examined 97,230 women aged 27 to 44. They found that exercise in everyday life is associated with a lower risk of CHD. In fact, the women do not even have to perform great physical exertion. But: the higher the activity, the lower the risk. Participants who do a lot of recreational sports have a 25 percent lower risk of CHD than women who are sedentary.

What types of exercise can help

“In order to benefit from this reduction in risk, women do not have to become competitive athletes,” explains Dr Rainer Ruf, cardiologist at the Ambulantes Centrum Berlin in Friedrichshain. A few hours a week of fast walking, yoga or gardening, for example, already reduce the risk by 33 percent compared to women who exercise less.

Even weight does not play a role. The positive effects of the activities are independent of the BMI (body mass index) of the women. The analysis also asked about the physical activity of earlier years. However, this earlier activity has no decisive influence on CHD prevention. Recent activity is more decisive. So even women who have hardly done any physical activity so far have a cardiovascular benefit if they become active from now on.