Fit Young Men Have Fewer Heart Issues Down the Line

Fit Young Men Have Fewer Heart Issues Down the Line

Were your teen years packed with exercise and activity, or did you lead a more sedentary life? Your answer may say a lot about your heart health as you get older.

Related: Exercise promotes lower blood pressure, strong muscles and even reduces stress.

The Perks of Starting Early
Researchers from Umea University in Sweden analyzed medical records of nearly 745,000 men who received fitness tests when they entered mandatory military service at 18. The men were then tracked for an average of 34 years. The researchers found that men whose aerobic fitness levels were sub-par at the time of enlistment had a higher risk of heart attack in middle age. And teens and young adults who did regular cardio training had a 35% lower risk of heart attack later on.

Among obese men, those who had been aerobically fit as teens had a 60% lower risk of heart attack than those who were least fit. However, the obese men still had a higher heart risk compared to lean men who weren’t fit. Even though the study was limited to younger men and lacked certain health information (like cholesterol levels, for example), it may highlight the reasons why maintaining a good exercise regimen throughout those early phases in life -- and beyond -- is so important.

Related: Here are 4 moves to help you burn unwanted fat real fast.

It's Never Too Late to Get Fit
Don't feel bad if you didn't take exercise seriously when you were younger. Remember, it's never too late to fit more exercise into your day and reap the health benefits.

Medically reviewed in December 2019.

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