Q&A: Expert Commentary From Max Smith

question I’m a slim male in his 30s but have a very strong family history of heart disease, what’s the best preventative exercise program to reduce my risk of heart problems?

answerA sedentary or inactive lifestyle is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease so any form of exercises will be greatly beneficial. Aerobic and cardiovascular training will strengthen the heart and lungs, increasing the efficiency with which you use oxygen and over a period of time, this has been shown to reduce heart rate and blood pressure. Find time to do some lengths in the pool or head out on the bike a few times a week. Ensure you progress the intensity of your sessions gradually to give your body time to adjust and adapt and remember we are all individuals with different levels of abilities. Another variable that will significantly help in preventing onset of health issues such as diabetes and high cholesterol that lead to heart problems, is the nutrition you consume around your workouts: avoid processed food and make an effort to reduce sugar intake.

Max Smith is a personal trainer at Virgin Active Kensington; www.virginactive.co.uk

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