Parents with heart disease struggle to exercise

No doubt the demands of parenting - from the late nights with an infant to the early mornings packing lunches and getting the kids off to school - make it a challenge to exercise.

So it comes a little surprise that a study out of the Montreal Heart Institute found that those of us who live with children exercise less than those who don’t have kids. Researchers led by Simon L. Bacon of the institute and a professor at Concordia University assessed the exercise routines of 756 heart patients. The goal was to determine what factors led people with heart disease to fail to maintain exercise routines, despite the known health benefits.

While the participants who live alone or with a partner engaged in similar amounts of exercise, those who lived with a child were significantly less likely to do so. The researchers said that the study revealed that a different approach was needed to encourage patients with heart disease to avoid inactivity - a path that puts them a higher risk of a heart attack or other cardiovascular events.

“This study has led us to reconsider the way we go about motivating our patients to change their lifestyle habits,” said Bacon in a statement. “Perhaps our efforts should target the patient’s entire family. It would be interesting to explore this approach in a subsequent study.”

The study was published in the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention.

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