When it comes to heart problems, it has been assumed that it's OK to be a bit overweight as long as you exercise regularly. New research is challenging this notion and this new research shows that being active can decrease but not eliminate your risk of heart problems. A new study that followed 39,000 women over 11 years discovered that weight actually plays a significant role in heart health.
The women participating in the study were assessed by their level of activity as well as their Body Mass Index (BMI). Women who exercised moderately (brisk walking or jogging) for 30 minutes most days of the week were considered active, and those who exercised less were categorized as inactive. To see the results of the study,
MSNBC reports the study's findings like this:
Compared with normal-weight active women, the risk for developing heart disease was 54 percent higher in overweight active women and 87 percent higher in obese active women. By contrast, it was 88 percent higher in overweight inactive women; and 2½ times greater in obese inactive women.
The study shows exercise helps overweight women decrease their risk of developing heart disease, but the extra weight still contributes to their overall risk. Maintaining a healthy weight is important since two out of five women over the age of 50 will have heart attacks or other cardiovascular problems, it's good to start thinking about this now. Exercising and eating a healthy diet, essentially making important lifestyle changes will help your heart and your overall health.
Fit's Tips: Thin doesn't necessarily equal healthy either. If you are thin and have a low BMI but also smoke, are inactive, or eat foods high in saturated fat, you may be increasing your risk for heart problems as well.