A first-ever look into the link between exercise and the prevention of clogged leg arteries shows promising results, say researchers. That’s welcome news for fending off peripheral arterial disease, a painful condition that affects up to 12 million U.S. adults and boosts their chances of having a heart attack or stroke.
In the Stanford University study, 30 percent of nearly 1,400 patients who came in for an X-ray of their cardiac arteries reported being sedentary with no lifetime recreational activity. Subsequent findings published online in the Journal of Vascular Surgery reveal that these individuals were nearly twice as likely to have clogged vessels in their legs as those who reported the most active lives.
More activity was more protective, but even light exercise, such as an evening stroll, was enough to protect the heart—and the legs—from problems later on, said Dr. John Cooke and his group.
So, get up and get moving! Walk, bike, or hike on local nature trails, in your neighborhood, or at the mall. Join a bocce or bowling league. Do some raking and weeding on nice days or offer to do yard work for others.
“Just get moving,” urges Dr. Tyler Cooper, CEO of Cooper Aerobics Enterprises in the July 2010 Post article “Get Out, Get Fit.” “Being active most days of the week in some form or fashion will really pay dividends in the long run.”
Tell us about your active lifestyle in the comments section below!