It’s well-known that exercise is good for cardiovascular health.
That’s particularly important information for women. They tend to have higher deaths from cardiovascular disease more often than men. Cardiovascular disease, in fact, is still the leading cause of death for women in the United States.
However, you don’t need to run a mile or head to the gym every day to reap the benefits.
For older women, being up and about for routine tasks — cleaning, gardening, and stretching — for at least 4 hours can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
A new study published in the the Journal of the American Heart Association looked at how daily movement affects heart health in older women in the United States.
Scientists measured the physical activity of more than 5,400 women in the United States between the ages of 63 and 97 without heart disease at the start of the study.
Participants wore an accelerometer for up to 7 days to measure how much time they spent moving and listed the types of daily life behaviors that resulted in movement. Each minute was classified as:
Researchers reported that performing routine activities, classified as daily life movement, for 4 hours per day can lower the risk of coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease by 43 percent and stroke by 30 percent, compared to women with 2 hours of daily life movement.
In addition, the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease was decreased by 62 percent.