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How Physical Inactivity Increases Your Risk of Heart Disease

Learn how physical inactivity increases your risk of heart disease from Dr. Dennis Finkielstein in this Howcast video.


So, if we talk about how inactivity can increase your chance of heart disease, inactivity leads to de-conditioning, and in general what that means is that the heart no longer functions effectively. The heart is a muscle and like any other muscle, needs to be conditioned and trained and get regular exercise to work well.

When people are inactive, this can lead to a host of metabolic changes in the body. Those are changes in the way the body works. Those changes can lead to things like high blood pressure, increased adipose, or fat tissue in the body, a higher resting heart rate, and a higher blood pressure in general. All of those things lead to increased chances of heart disease. They can increase our chances of getting stroke or heart attack and lead to an overall poorly conditioned heart.

In order to avoid being inactive, we recommend regular physical exercise. In general, daily physical exercise of 30 to 60 minutes a day, where you get your heart rate elevated and get a good sweat going, would be sufficient. Inactivity can also effect the way we metabolize our food, leading to increased rates of atherosclerosis or cholesterol buildup in the arteries of the heart. Inactivity is also not good for our mental health. Exercise has been shown to improve cardiac health as well as overall well-being. So, inactivity can help lead to heart disease and being active promotes a heart-healthy lifestyle.

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