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Instead of a sports fan, become a participant

Published On: Apr 10 2012 09:25:16 AM CDT
Updated On: Sep 25 2012 06:59:55 AM CDT
sports balls, baseball, football, basketball

iStock / jropelato1

(NewsUSA) - It's home run time. From spring training through the World Series in October, baseball fans are glued to their flat screens.

Vascular surgeon David H. Stone, M.D., encourages arm chair enthusiasts to get into the game. "Find your favorite summertime sports pastime, and give your vascular system a great workout."

As a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery, Dr. Stone encourages physical activity that can pump up blood while lowering blood pressure. "More than diet, exercise helps keep your weight down and provides positive health benefits," said Dr. Stone.

After a one-hour workout, the Mayo Clinic states that a 200-pound person will have burned the following calories:

* Baseball -- 455

* Bicycling, 10 mph -- 364

* Golfing, carrying clubs -- 391

* Rope jumping -- 1,074

* Swimming laps -- 528

* Tennis, singles -- 728

To remain "in the game," Dr. Stone recommends:

* 30 minutes of exercise daily.

This may reduce the risk of stroke, the fourth leading cause of death in America according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) 2010 National Vital Statistics Report. In 2010,137,000 Americans died of stroke.

* a healthy diet

* not smoking

* maintaining a healthy body weight

The lack of regular physical activity results in 250,000 deaths annually, according to a 2003 report in the medical journal Circulation. The least physically fit persons have a mortality risk 4.5 times higher than physically fit persons.

Lifestyle choices affect blood flow and blood pressure. The 2010 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics indicate that one in every three Americans more than 20 years old has high blood pressure.

To detect vascular disease, non-invasive screening tests are available. To treat vascular disease, medications and preventive surgical procedures are available.