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Excising after having suffered a heart attack isn’t dangerous. On the contrary. Physical activity after an infarction halves the risk of dying prematurely, compared to a sedentary lifestyle, according to new research by researchers at the Gymnastics and Sport College in Sweden.

A person who has suffered a heart attack has everything to gain from physical activity according to the researchers that have analyzed the effect of physical activity on 22,227 people who had suffered from a heart attack between 2005 and 2013.

The patients reported how much physical activity they had done at regular intervals after the heart attack, 6-10 weeks after the infarction, and after one year. They were asked to specify how many times a week they were physically active for 30 minutes or longer. Then the participants were divided into four groups, depending on how active they were, and followed for four years.

During the follow-up period, 1 087 people had died. Among the people who were inactive at the first measurement, but who increased their activity in the following year, mortality was halved compared with those who were constantly inactive. And among those who were constantly active, mortality was approximately 60 percent lower than for those who were constantly inactive.

That exercise is good for the heart and reduces the risk of, for example, myocardial infarction is no news, but according to the researchers, the benefit of physical activity after an infarction has been more unclear.

“It is well known that physically active people are less likely to have a heart attack and more likely to live longer.”

“But we did not know the impact of exercise on people after a heart attack.”

“Our study shows that patients can reduce their risk of death by becoming physically active after a heart attack.”

– Lead researcher Dr Örjan Ekblom, from the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences

The findings were presented at the EuroPrevent 2018 congress in Ljubljana, and detailed in a press release.