What long-term smokers need to keep in mind when they start exercising

KYW Staff
November 06, 2019 - 4:00 am
A person smoking a cigarette.

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KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Ask any cardiologist what they consider to be the greatest risk factor for heart disease, and they will say smoking cigarettes. 

It's quite simple. 

Cigarette smoking can lead to clogged blood vessels, and when these clogged blood vessels supply the heart, it can lead to a heart attack. 

Believe it or not, every year we see cases of patients who have been long-term smokers and in an effort to be healthier, start an exercise program. 

But there can be risks to your heart. If you've been a smoker for years and want to start an exercise program, you can do it, but understand that you need a careful workout with an electrocardiogram and a stress test.  

You really need to look into it and not just run out there and exercise.