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by Pierre S. Aoukar, MD and Hratch L. Karamanoukian, MD
Posted: March 13

By fitness, we don’t just mean being able to fit into the clothes you like, we mean cardiovascular fitness—how well you can handle exercise and physical exertion. Body mass index is only a small part of the story. You can be the skinniest kid on the block and still be very unhealthy. How you look on the outside can be very deceiving. What’s going on inside your body is much more important. A sedentary life is a risk factor for heart disease precisely because it leads to cardiovascular “unfitness.” Exercise and physical activity are the only ways to achieve cardiovascular fitness. Achieving cardiovascular fitness, not only leaves you with a slimmer body, but a heart with cleaner coronaries and one that pumps with greater efficiency. As a result the heart rate naturally slows down at rest and when you are active you can be active for longer periods without tiring.

Numerous studies have already established that fitness reduces the risk of developing heart disease. A study from Stanford University demonstrated that for those who already have heart disease, their chances of staying alive increase considerably with each increase in level of physical exertion or MET (metabolic equivalent). In fact, fitness is so important, the Institute of Medicine, based on a very recent study, has now recommended one whole hour of daily exercise, an increase from on-half hour per day. You will look better, feel better and live better!

Fitness, Excerpt from the book: Everything Good For The Heart: The A to Z Guide, Aoukar PS and Karamanoukian HL. Magalhaes Scientific Press

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