Last updated: Apr 21, 2008
(DYNAMIC GRAPHICS/JUPITER IMAGES)
David Cullen's brother Steve died of a heart attack in 1995 at age 40. In 2002 two more of his brothers died of the same fate, one day apart.
Fat Is Bad for Your Heart
A weighty problem Watch video
Exercise helps dilate the body's blood vessels and enables blood to circulate more freely, said Byung-il William Choi, MD, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
How much exercise is enough?
The amount of exercise it takes to help prevent heart disease is a matter of debate. Some experts urge people to exercise more frequently and moderately; others push for longer, more vigorous workouts. "The sad fact is, most Americans are sedentary," says Matthew Sorrentino, MD, a cardiologist at the University of Chicago. "One-quarter don't exercise at all. So getting them to move at all is an improvement."
A German study found that people who exercised regularly during their lifetimes were 60% less likely to be diagnosed with coronary heart disease than sedentary people.