It’s great news for people who can’t stick to an exercise programme. “Small improvements in fitness levels are enough—you don’t have to be a great athlete to benefit from these effects,” said Daniel Curnier, at the University of Montreal, who studied the impact of physical activity on 249 people with heart disease.
Curnier and his team discovered that any amount of activity—even if it was 20 per cent below the national average—was enough to have a positive impact on a range of risk factors that can lead to heart disease, including waist size, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and being overweight. Doing some physical activity could even help overcome depression, which is also linked to heart disease.
These factors all combine to create a ‘perfect storm’, often created by modern living, to make cardiovascular disease the world’s major killer, responsibility for 31 per cent of all deaths every year.
But you can reduce your risk dramatically—and even reverse some symptoms of heart disease—by doing some physical activity.