Heart Disease is our nation's #1 killer. Ongoing research in the town of Framingham, MA over the past 50 years, has identified major risk factors leading to heart disease.

The Framingham Risk Factors
  • Tobacco use
  • Sedentary Lifestyle
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Anger-stress
  • Family History
  • Abnormal EKG
  • Obesity

Since 1987, the offspring of the original Framingham research subjects have been studied. The results of this Framingham Children's Study are most interesting...

  1. more active young children tend to become healthier, lower-risk adults;
  2. the most physically active children have the least increase in blood pressure later in life;
  3. teenagers with the highest blood pressure levels will be more likely to develop high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease as adults;
  4. less active children tend to retain their baby fat and continue to gain weight (fat) on into adulthood;
  5. children with the least active parents were the most likely to grow up as sedentary individuals with higher rates of heart disease.

For more information on walking, physical activity and heart disease, check out Walk the Four Seasons and A Journey to Wellness (click here)


Photos by Dr. Robert Neeves

Examine these 2 human hearts -- the fatty heart from a severely obese person who died from heart disease (left) and the other heart from a normal weight person. Which heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout the body? Which person do you think is more likely to develop high blood pressure? Do you think you owe it to your heart to take off a few extra pounds of excess body fat?

Physical Activity & Aging... "Use It or Lose It"

Physical activity is critical in maintaining bone mass, strengthening the heart muscle and respiratory system, blood pressure regulation, reducing the destructive effects of stress, stimulating blood/oxygen circulation for both brain functions and immune system response. Studies of 90 to 100 year old super-seniors continue to show a consistent level of physical activity in the lives of these vibrant elders. Most important is your current state of physical activity- not your past varsity trophies and medals.

For the simplest, easiest physical activity programs you'll ever do, please see our "Pedometer Programs" (click here)

Ten Lifestyle Traits Found in Healthy Aging People

The Great Edward Payson Weston -- Walker Extraordinaire

Born in 1839 (when the average lifespan was 40 years), Weston in his prime would walk 50 to 100 miles a day. In 1861, he walked 453 miles to Abraham Lincoln's inauguration (Boston to Washington DC) in 10 days and 10 hours. Forty nine years later, he walked across America in 88 days, averaging 41 miles per day...at age 71. In his mid-eighties, Weston was still walking 25 miles per day. He died in 1929 at age 90 after being struck by a New York City taxi.

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