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Exercise Heart Disease

Moderate exercise helps reduce blood pressure

            In a large study of people with a high-normal resting heart rate of 80 to 99 beats per minute (bpm) it was found they had a 40% shorter lifespan than those with a desirable heart rate of 60 to 69 bpm.

            The good news is that moderate exercise (such as brisk walking) can help.

            Usually 15 to 30 minutes a day of moderate activity will bring the resting heart rate down and help extend life expectancy.

            The average heart rate over a lifetime is the issue.  In the animal kingdom, the faster the heart rate, the shorter the lifespan.  For example, on average, a mouse or rat has a heart rate of 500 to 700 bpm and lives 2 years, whereas a whale has a heart rate of 6 bpm and lives 80 years.

            In humans as in animals, a fast heart rate means the heart has to work harder. For example, if one person has a resting heart rate of 60 bpm and another person has a resting heart rate of 90 bpm, this adds up to an extra 315 million beats in 20 years.  Read more at “Mortality Rises With High-Normal Heart Rate, but Exercise Limits Effect”  Better yet, join me for a morning walk.

            Nancy Neighbors, MD

By Nancy Neighbors, MD

... Dr. Neighbors provides a blend of traditional family medicine and evidence-based lifestyle medicine in Huntsville, Alabama. When indicated, lifestyle change is recommended as the first line of therapy.

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