You’ve heard it before, but experts say more people need to listen: 30 minutes a day of moderately vigorous exercise can prevent heart attacks for millions of Americans who have settled into a soft and flabby life.
In a consensus report issued Wednesday to influence health decisions by doctors and patients in the United States, a committee of experts selected by the National Institutes of Health said about half of all Americans get no regular exercise and are paying the price with heart attacks, strokes and other diseases.
“Americans need to move more,” said Dr. Russell V. Luepker, chairman of the experts panel and a professor at the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota. “Physical activity is a natural part of our evolution. Somehow, we have engineered our way out of that.”
Automation, elevators, motorized transportation and labor-saving devices have all helped Americans to create a sedentary lifestyle, the panel said. As a result, many are dying prematurely from flabby hearts, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and clogged arteries.
Luepker said 30 minutes daily is the ideal goal and that the exercise does not have to be in one block of time. He said three 10-minute exercise sessions were enough to achieve a healthful benefit.