‘Tag team it’ to avoid stroke and heart attack

Some proven health habits are a given…

For example, you and I both know that regular exercise helps improve your cardiovascular health.

According to the American Heart Association, you need at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, or 30 minutes 5 days of the week. Or 75 minutes of more vigorous exercise, just 15 minutes 5 days of the week.

So why are 60 percent of Americans doing very little, if any exercise at all? Well, it can seem like hard work. Definitely harder than simply popping a vitamin, right?

That brings us to vitamin D…

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We all know it’s the sunshine vitamin that helps improve bone health — and actually a lot more you might not be aware of.  Vitamin D supports your heart by regulating blood pressure and aiding in the dilation of blood vessels and arteries.

But a large percentage of us are deficient in this essential vitamin — and physicians claim they see this deficiency only increasing as of late.

Clearly, both exercise and vitamin D offer us great benefits individually — if we can just get with the game and get enough of both. So what would it take to up your game?

How about this…

Together, the synergistic connection between the two — vitamin D and exercise — appears to support heart health even more than either one of these healthy habits alone…

The exercise/ vitamin D synergy for heart protection

Interestingly, researchers have recently discovered an exercise/ vitamin D connection that appears to offer synergistic advantages in reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke…

When looking at more than 10,000 participants, the majority of them women with an average age of 54 years, the researchers discovered that exercise may boost vitamin D stores — those doing regular exercise had a 31 percent lower risk of being vitamin D deficient.

And it gets better — those meeting adequate daily levels of both vitamin D and exercise, had a 23 percent lower risk of cardiovascular events!

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The message here is two-fold:

  1. Move more. As suggested above, you need around 30 minutes a day of moderate activity. We’re talking walking, yoga, gardening, bike riding, swimming, or just some type of activity that gets your body moving.
  2. Get out in the sun. Just 15 minutes a day with your skin exposed to sunshine (without sunscreen) is all that’s needed. So when you can, take a lunch break outside on a park bench, or better yet, take a 15-minute walk with a short-sleeved shirt on.

You can also get vitamin D from food sources, but the options are limited — mushrooms, fish, eggs, liver and fortified milk and cereals.

If getting sunshine or eating vitamin D-rich foods is a problem for you, supplementation is a good idea. Dr. Michael Cutler has previously discussed vitamin D supplementation and suggests 1,000 International Units (IU) daily or 5,000 IU twice weekly of vitamin D3 is typically all you need to boost and maintain your levels adequately.

And of course, the third factor, which is equally important to heart health, is to eat a healthy, nutrient-dense diet on an everyday basis. That is one thing you have complete control over and provides the best protection against many chronic diseases!

Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!

  1. Stringham NT, et al. Supplementation with macular carotenoids reduces psychological stress, serum cortisol, and sub-optimal symptoms of physical and emotional health in young adults. — J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2017;102(4):1227-1236.
  2. Exercise and vitamin D better together for heart health. — Eurekalert.org. (2017). Retrieved 8 May, 2017
  3. Zhang R, et al. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and the risk of cardiovascular disease: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. — Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;105:810–9.
Jedha Dening

By Jedha Dening

Jedha Dening is a qualified nutritionist (MNutr), researcher, author, freelance writer, and founder of type 2 diabetic nutrition site Diabetes Meal Plans. Her masters thesis on nutrition and inflammation was published and then presented at a national scientific conference. She has millions of words published in the health industry across various print and online publications. Having been in the field for over 15 years, she’s incredibly passionate about delving into the latest research to share the myths and truths surrounding nutrition and health. She believes when armed with the right knowledge, we’re empowered to make informed choices that can truly make a difference.