According to the findings reported in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation, regular physical activity, greater grip strength and better cardiorespiratory fitness are linked to reduced risk of heart attack and stroke. People who have a history of heart diseases can also benefit immensely from the practice.
“The main message is that being physically active is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, even if you have a high genetic risk,” said Erik Ingelsson, lead study author and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University’s School of Medicine in California.
For the study, the researchers looked at data from roughly a half-million people in the UK Biobank database. For participants with an intermediate genetic risk for cardiovascular diseases, it was revealed that those with the strongest grips were 36 per cent less likely to develop coronary heart disease and had a 46 per cent reduction in their risk for atrial fibrillation, compared to study participants with the same genetic risk who had the weakest grips.
It was revealed that high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness were associated with a 49 per cent lower risk for coronary heart disease and a 60 per cent lower risk for atrial fibrillation compared to study participants with low cardiorespiratory fitness.
“The study is not a prescription for a specific type or amount of exercise and because the results come from an observational study, Ingelsson said, adding that “we can’t definitely claim a causal connection.”
However, the researchers are positive that the results are worthy for consideration in guidelines.
Besides exercise your diet may also play a significant role in keeping your heart healthy.
Here are five foods you must include in your daily diet to boost heart health
1. Oats: Oats contain a type of fiber that helps bind bile acids and expel them from the body. These bile acids are made from cholesterol. A diet that includes oats is effective in lowering the cholesterol levels in our body. A low cholesterol diet would inevitably also bolster prevent onset of heart disease
2. Nuts: Nuts can do wonders for your heart. These nuts have high amounts of unsaturated fats that are good for your heart. Nuts also help reduce the inflammation of the arteries.
3. Legumes: Legumes have antioxidants, proteins and fiber. They are also a great source to get your folate requirement from and also help in increasing the platelet activity.
4. Berries: Berries are full of heart-healthy phytonutrients and lots of soluble fiber. The antioxidants rich fruits can be enjoyed alone, or blended into smoothies.
5. Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and phytoestogens, which helps boost heart health.