Walking just 10 minutes a day can halve your risk of having a heart attack
Just a small amount of light exercise has a major effect on those with sedentary lifestyles, say doctors ahead of American Heart Month.
Dr Martha Grogan, of Mayo Clinic, said in journal Healthy Heart for Life!: ‘When I tell people that almost 80 per cent of heart disease is preventable, they are surprised.
‘Better yet, there are daily things we all can do that can make a big difference in our effort to keep our hearts healthy.’
She said that a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of heart attack almost as much as smoking and said simply getting up from a desk to talk to a colleague rather than sending an email would help.
‘Moving even 10 minutes a day for someone who’s been sedentary may reduce the risk for heart disease by 50 per cent,’ she said.
Fellow cardiologist Virend Somers pointed out that getting enough sleep was also vital.
He said: ‘Sleep is a necessity, like food and water. It’s not a luxury.’
And Dr Randal Thomas, also of Mayo Clinic, pointed out the danger of high blood pressure, which in a 53-year old male smoker increases the chance of heart attack by 20 per cent over ten years.
He said: ‘There’s a saying that heart disease is what nature gives you for breaking its rules.
‘But you have a second chance. Healthy lifestyle habits can help you reduce a majority of your risks for heart attack.’