If Mom or Dad Had a Heart Attack at a Young Age, Change Your Ways

Hartford Courant—January 23, 2015

When President Lyndon Johnson declared February as American Heart Month 51 years ago, cardiovascular disease was responsible for more than half of all deaths in the country. With improved medical technology and more knowledge of risk factors, the death toll has dropped remarkably, but heart disease is still the leading killer, claiming one in four people every year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cancer claims another of the four, and a variety of less common causes account for the rest.

Exercise every day: Obviously a medical work-up before starting strenuous exercise is recommended, but even moving will help.

That involves intense bouts of exercise for a short period of time (sprinting versus jogging). "It's like you're sprinting with your heart," said Dr. Jordan Metzl, sports medicine physician of Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. This type of exercise can be done on a bike or the treadmill but certainly is not limited to that. You can do it anywhere, Metzl said.

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