A brisk walk a day can reduce the risk of heart disease by a quarter in women under 50, research shows.
The study found that even if women are overweight they can still reduce their risk of heart disease by taking exercise.
Although deaths from heart disease among women aged 25 to 54 are low there has been little improvement in the last 20 years, according to the study in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.
Among women aged 27 to 44 at the start of the study, those with the highest level of leisure time physical activity were at a 25% lower risk incidence of coronary heart disease.
Activity did not have to be strenuous to be beneficial; moderately intense activities such as brisk walking were associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease, the study, reported in the Daily Mail, found.
The frequency of exercise did not affect the outcome as long as the total weekly time was at least 150 minutes.
Regardless of their body weight when they began, women reduced their coronary heart disease risk by taking physical activity.
Prof Andrea Chomistek, of Indiana University’s School of Public Health, most women can improve their heart health significantly by incorporating some moderate or vigorous physical activity into their regular routine.
The research was based on the frequency, amount of time, intensity and type of physical activity among more than 97,000 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II whose ages at the outset ranged from 27 to 44.
In the 20-year follow-up, 544 cases of coronary heart disease were discovered.