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Reduce your risk of heart disease. Exercise!

Written by Diane Archer

To reduce your risk of coronary heart disease, just as with reducing your risk of stroke, the best thing you can do is exercise. Indeed, the more you exercise, the more likely you are to prolong your life.

The New York Times reports on a study, published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology, for which researchers in Norway followed 3,307 people with coronary heart disease over an average of 16 years. During that time, more than 40 percent of them died. People, who exercised for 150 minutes each week, reduced their risk of death by 19 percent.  Those who exercised more reduced their risk by 36 percent.

In this observational study, weight loss did not contribute to longer life for people of normal weight. Indeed, people of normal weight who decreased their body mass index by more than .10 had a 30 percent greater chance of dying. They did not increase their risk of dying if they gained weight. The lead author explained that because the study was observational, it could be that the normal weight individuals who lost weight were more likely to die because they were in poorer health than others.

For people who are overweight, exercise is more important than losing weight, but losing weight is good! If you’re looking for help losing weight, you should know that Medicare covers weight-loss counseling. It also covers nutrition counseling.

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