If someone asked what habits put you at highest risk for heart disease from age 30 on, you might say smoking or having high blood pressure. You'd be wrong.
A new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that inactivity is actually the largest risk factor for heart disease in women after the age of 30, beating out smoking, high blood pressure, and BMI.
For the study, researchers in Australia wanted to determine how much certain risk factors contribute to women’s likelihood of getting heart disease over the course of their lives. To do so, they looked at the prevalence of the four major risk factors above, examining data from 40,000 participants across 15 age groups (spanning ages 22 to 90). The data came from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. Turns out smoking is the most common risk factor for heart disease in young adult women—until age 30. At that point, women are most at risk for heart disease if they're not active enough.
Think of these results as yet another reason to hit up the gym today, and to feel extra good once you wrap up your sweat session. And check out these15 fitness habits you need to establish in your 20s so you can create a super healthy routine for now and beyond!