How Much Exercise Do You Need for Better Heart Health?

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The more you do, the better, but even mild exercise like walking produces benefits for cardiovascular health, a large new study found.

If you want a healthy heart, the more you exercise, the better, according to an encouraging new study of the links between physical activity and cardiovascular disease. It finds that people who often exercise and stay active are much less likely to develop heart disease than people who rarely move, whether that exercise consists of a few minutes a day of jogging or multiple hours a week of walking.

The large-scale study, which relied on objective data about exercise from more than 90,000 adults, bolsters the growing evidence that any almost amount of physical activity seems to be good for cardiovascular health, with no apparent upper limit to the benefits.

For generations, of course, we have known that active people tend to have strong hearts. Back in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Jeremy Morris, a British epidemiologist, famously found that British bus conductors, who spent their days strolling aisles and climbing steps on the double-decker vehicles, were about half as likely to have a heart attack as the buses’ drivers, who sat all day.

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