Two studies reported in the January 27, 1999 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that even a mild amount of activity or exercise can improve heart and lung function. Routine activities such as raking leaves and climbing stairs can produce a positive cardiovascular effect.
One study followed 235 men and women over two years. The participants were divided into groups. One group did vigorous exercise while the other group did only mild to moderate "lifestyle" exercise. After two years comparison of the two groups show similar and significant improvement in cholesterol levels, blood pressure and body fat ratios. The conclusion gives hope and encouragement to those who are unable to do anything more than mild or moderate exercise. In short, when it come to exercise, some is better than none. The study did show, however, that the group that did vigorous exercise burned off calories three times as fast as the moderate exercise group did.