Staying active may ward off heart damage.
New findings suggest that staying physically active can reduce the risk of heart damage, which may lead to heart failure, even in overweight and obese people. The study included 9,427 overweight and obese patients, ages 45 to 64, without cardiovascular disease. The participants were categorized as meeting recommended exercise levels (150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week) intermediate levels (one to 74 minutes of vigorous exercise or one to 149 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise a week) or no exercise. Compared to the participants who met the exercise recommendations, those who were not physically active or exercised only at intermediate levels were 39 percent and 34 percent more likely, respectively, to have elevated levels of high-sensitivity troponin T, a marker of heart damage that has been associated with later heart failure, the study found (JACC: Heart Failure, May 2017). The take-home message: Achieving recommended physical activity levels may reduce your risk of heart damage, even if you're overweight.