A sedentary lifestyle isn’t a healthy lifestyle. In fact, too much sitting can lead to heart damage. It’s a grim fact that nobody wants to face. But sooner or later, we have to acknowledge that our sedentary lifestyle is putting us at risk for cardiovascular trouble. Luckily, brand new research is showing that it’s not too late to reverse heart damage and build up a strong cardiovascular system. Scroll down to learn more about how to keep your heart healthy and strong.

A new study published in the journal Circulation included 61 middle-aged participants, all of whom lived a sedentary lifestyle, but who were otherwise healthy. They were divided into two groups – each group engaging in either exercise training or attention control.

Exercise training included moderate- to high-intensity fitness routines. While the other “casual” group focused on balance and flexibility.

At the end of the two-year study, researchers found that the people who did exercise training showed an increase in the oxygen used by the body during exercise. The heart muscle also became less stiff. The second group, however, did not experience these same, heart-healthy changes.

Therefore, in just two years, exercise training can lead to significant improvements in the cardiovascular system. So, no matter how long you’ve been sitting at your desk, you can still start exercising to prevent heart damage, too.

Consider doing 20 minutes of exercise per day, and make sure you include some vigorous activity, which is especially beneficial for your heart.

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