Saturday, July 04, 2015

How Much Exercise Do Women Need To Prevent Heart Disease?

Exercise plays an important role in keeping one healthy. But how much exercise does one need without wasting time or risking injury? Current physician guidelines suggest that adults should have at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, at least 5 days a week.

According to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Oxford, middle-age women may not need as much exercise as previously recommended in order to stay healthy and prevent heart disease. The study, known as Million Women Study, involved 1.1 million women aged between 50 and 64 who had no prior vascular disease.

Participants reported their frequency of physical activity and many other personal characteristics in 1998. 3 years later, they were asked about hours spent walking, cycling, gardening, and housework each week. During an average of 9 years follow-up, about 7.5 percent of the participants had suffered a heart attack, stroke or a dangerous clot called venous thromboembolism. Their findings were published online February 16, 2015 in the American Heart Association journal ‘Circulation’.

Researchers found that women engaging in regular, moderate physical activity had the lowest cardiovascular risk among women in the study, after comparing outcomes with self-reported physical activity. Those who reported moderate amounts of activity just 2 or 3 times a week had a 20 percent lower rate of heart attack, stroke and blood clots, comparing to inactive women. 

While women engaging in strenuous physical activity like running also had a lower risk for heart disease, but only when doing such activities 2 to 3 times a week. Surprisingly, those participating in daily vigorous exercise actually had a higher cardiovascular risk than those exercising a few times a week.

It is not necessary to perform vigorous exercise every single day to prevent heart disease, as suggested by the study. People just need to exercise a few times a week. In fact, certain levels of activity will help keep the heart in shape, lowering cholesterol and inflammation in blood vessels, and essentially preventing the formation of plaque that blocks blood flow.

Health experts cautioned the data regarding physical activity was self-reported and women’s physical activity levels might have changed over the course of study. Moreover, women engaging in vigorous exercise only made up 3 percent of the entire study population that obviously put the study up to potential error. Nevertheless, the findings might just offer hope and possibly motivation to the estimated one-third of adults who do not exercise. These individuals just need to raise their physical activity, even in small amounts.


  1. Exercising is very important to keep the heart healthy. But having good diet is also very essential. Recent study says that consuming Cranberries can systematically reduces the risk factor of heart failure in both men and women. Read this article for more information - Cranberry Juice for Heart

  2. Exercise is very important for both men and women, It has many benefits.