How Healthy Is Your Heart? Exercise Exercise plays an important role in reducing your risk for cardiovascular disease. According to your answer, you do not get enough exercise. Aerobic exercise has been associated with lower blood pressure, is an important part of weight control programs, can decrease the amount of insulin that diabetic patients need, and increase your levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good cholesterol.” Also, people who exercise are more likely to quit smoking. Exercise may also keep your blood vessels more flexible, which is especially important as we get older. Lastly, exercise can make you feel more energetic and give you a greater sense of emotional well-being. Body Mass Index A BMI of 30 or higher puts you at high risk for heart and blood vessel disease. People who are overweight or obese have a greater chance of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. If you are obese and you have other risk factors, your doctor will probably recommend that you lose
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