When exercise can be harmful

Everyone knows that in order to be healthy, proper diet and exercise is required. However, not all exercise is helpful, according to a recent report from Mayo Clinic Proceedings. While most Americans are recommended to get about two hours and 30 minutes of physical activity per week, there has been little research about the maximum amount of exercise that is healthy.

The new study found that those who have survived a heart attack may actually be doing more harm than good by going over the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity per day. Doing more than this amount can actually increase the risk of a person having another heart attack. Regular exercise is essential for heart health, but too much exertion for heart attack survivors can be too much strain on the heart and joints.

More isn't always better
The study involved more than 2,000 heart attack survivors over 10 years. Researchers discovered that deaths from heart attacks or strokes in patients who ran fewer than 3 miles per week or walked fewer than 46 miles were reduced compared to sedentary people. However, patients who exercised more than that were found to have increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Like Goldilocks, all heart attack survivors need to find just the right amount of balance between exercising and a healthy diet. This study is one of the first to find that too much exercise can actually have adverse effects on health and longevity. However, researchers aren't exactly sure why, though it is clear that people don't need to exceed their exercise recommendations to gain great benefits.

Best exercises for heart health
While heart attack survivors should be sure not to overexert themselves, all Americans need about 30 minutes of exercise five times per week for a total of 150 minutes of cardiovascular activity. In addition, weight training about twice per week is recommended. Here are the best exercises for heart health according to the American Heart Association:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Jogging

Seniors who are new to exercising should start slowly in order to build up strength and endurance. The AHA recommends starting with short distances a few times per week before walking farther over time. Eventually, seniors can start jogging to increase the intensity of the workout.

To maximize your Senior Health Insurance benefits, visit MySeniorHealthPlan.com for quick, simple and easy information