Johns Hopkins Medicine recently released information from a national survey of more than 19 million women in the United States. For a while now experts have said women and Americans in general don’t exercise enough. What makes this data alarming is the number of women who aren’t physically active enough is growing.
The study focused on women with established cardiovascular disease. More than 60 percent of them don’t get enough exercise. Over the last decade that percentage has continued to increase.
Researchers found in 2006 that 58 percent of women with cardiovascular disease didn’t meet AHA guidelines for physical activity. By 2015, that number was more than 61 percent. Women between the ages of 40 and 64 were the fastest growing age group not exercising enough.
The American Heart Association says heart disease is the number one cause of death for American women. Over 43 million women have been diagnosed with disorders like the following:
When individuals receive a diagnosis, it’s frightening. However, getting regular physical activity allows women to take control of their health, especially after a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease.
Low physical activity doesn’t just impact health, it also causes Americans to have to spend more on healthcare. Women who exercised after a cardiovascular disease diagnosis spent on average 30 percent less on medical care.
Former Johns Hopkins Medicine research fellow Victor Okunrintemi says exercise can save your health and your money. “Physical activity is a known, cost-effective prevention strategy for women with and without cardiovascular disease, and our study shows worsening health and financial trends over time among women with cardiovascular disease who don’t get enough physical activity.”
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with a health problem or not, exercise is good for you. You can actually reduce your risk of developing heart disease (primary prevention) by following AHA guidelines. Their recommendation is 150 minutes weekly of moderate to vigorous physical activity.
You can split that into 30 minutes of activity five days a week or do longer workouts on fewer days. The study focused on women because other research indicates over the course of a lifetime, men move more than women. However, exercise recommendations and health benefits apply to both genders.
This article isn’t meant to be medical advice. Talk to your doctor and do what he or she says to keep your heart and the rest of your body healthy. However, when your physician recommends physical activity, we can help.
No matter what your starting point, F.I.T. is the place to get physically active. We can help you find a class or a personal trainer that makes fitness fun and help you start healthy habits that last a lifetime. Get in touch to find out more.