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November 2011
Running Boosts Vitamin D Levels and Lowers Heart Disease Risk

Recent studies have found that runners have a significantly decreased risk of heart disease, in part due to higher levels of vitamin D and HDL (good) cholesterol.

It has long been known that those who participate in forms of vigorous exercise (such as running) on a consistent basis have a lower risk of heart disease than those who live sedentary lifestyles or even those who choose mostly low-impact exercises. A study by scientists at Harvard University has recently shown that those who regularly participate in high-intensity exercise (at least three hours weekly) reduce their risk of a heart attack by 22%.

Cholesterol levels are a key factor in heart disease. High levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol cause arterial plaque build-up. Plaque hardens arteries and constricts blood flow to the heart, raising the risk of a heart attack.  

Running raises HDL cholesterol and lowers LDL cholesterol, making it a great step toward preventing heart disease.

Vitamin D deficiency is also connected to heart attacks, heart disease-related fatalities and high blood pressure.

Vitamin D is only produced by the body after direct sun exposure. It is presumed that runners who run outdoors (as opposed to on a treadmill) have higher levels of vitamin D than most people.

Good sources of vitamin D include oysters and fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. Vitamin D supplements such as New Chapterís Bone Strength Take also provide 100% daily value of vitamin D.

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