Sweat To Protect

Barbara’s 60 years have been fairly healthy. Until one morning a year ago.

“It was like someone was sitting on me. I thought, ‘Well, it’s just indigestion because I’m too young to have a heart attack.'”

Barbara did have a heart attack. That morning she joined a large group of women bonded by heart disease.

Cara, M.D., TX:
“Heart disease will kill five times as many women as will breast cancer. Heart disease will kill four times as many women as any kind of cancer. We overlook it, but it’s still the major killer of American women this century.”

It’s been known for some time that moderate exercise helps men avoid heart disease. Now, there are dramatic results from one of the few studies looking at how exercise impacts women. Post-menopausal women who raise their heart rates 30 minutes a day, three times a week, cut their risk of heart attacks by 50 percent.

At 48, Candice hasn’t gone through menopause yet. She says she’s trying to reverse her slide into laziness before it’s too late.

Candice, Heart Patient:
“I always excused myself: ‘I don’t have the time to do this.’ But if you’re going to die if you don’t do it, it gives you a certain amount of incentive.”

Cara, M.D.:
“If you begin to think of exercise like brushing your teeth, that is to say the body needs small amounts done regularly. That’s incredibly beneficial.”

Researchers say it doesn’t make any difference what exercise you choose. It’s just important to get up and get going. The study found golf and bowling were not effective in preventing heart attacks. The researchers say it’s because they don’t raise heart rates for a long enough time.

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