Younger women who exercise just 2 ½ hours per week may cut their risk for heart disease by up to 25 percent.

The choices they make in the first half of their lives determine their well-being and health in the second half, according to a study from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

dreamstime_15739992Higher levels of physical activity have been shown to reduce heart disease, stroke, cancers, diabetes and many other chronic health conditions.

Researchers collected data on more than 97,000 women, aged 27 to 44, who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study 2. They proved that women who were the most physically active during their leisure time had the lowest risk for heart disease, 25 percent lower than women who exercised the least. Even moderate exercise, such as taking a brisk walk, was associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Women who seemed to benefit the most exercised the most, at least 150 minutes a week. And, it didn’t matter what weight a woman was when she started exercising.

Many women are often so busy caring for others, they don’t take time to exercise and care for themselves. Yet they are often the gatekeepers of health for their families. So when women are healthier, so are families, communities, and our world.

To learn how to care for your mind, body and spirit and how to care for your nurses, visit SelfCare for HealthCare. Contact me today to discuss implementing this powerful program at your facility. I provide nurse recruitment and retention strategies, speaking, and consultations.