Middle aged and out of shape? It’s not too late to get fit — and reduce your risk for heart failure.

In a new study, 40-year-olds who improved their fitness reduced their heart failure risk eight years later, compared to those who continued to have a low fitness level.

The improvements didn’t have to be huge: If a 40-year-old went from jogging 12 minutes per mile to running 10 minutes per mile, he or she reduced heart failure risk by 40 percent at a later age.

As more people survive heart attacks and live with heart disease, the number with heart failure is increasing  — now 5.1 million, according to the American Heart Association. By 2030, prevalence of heart failure will increase 25 percent from 2013 estimates.

You can reduce your risk of heart failure by improving fitness, controlling blood pressure and eating healthy.

 

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