Reggie Wilson couldn’t believe it. At 55, wasn’t he too young to have a heart attack even if there is a history of heart disease in his family? The idea actually made him a little angry.

 Wilson had three blockages in his arteries. But doctors at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center were able to save his life.

 After recovering from his angioplasty, Wilson began a cardiac rehabilitation program through Novant Health’s Heart and Vascular Institute. The 3-month long program held at the Novant Health Rehabilitation Center is an intensive, hands-on monitored program that includes physical rehabilitation and nutrition and lifestyle counseling.

 The goal of cardiac rehab is to help people recover from whatever cardiac event they have sustained and help them avoid a future episode said Mike Halterman, a manager at the center

 We all know that diet and exercise can help maintain a healthy heart. A new study finds that even coach potatoes who take up exercising in middle age can reverse damage done to the heart from a sedentary lifestyle.

 Halterman has the following tips for people who want to begin exercising.

 •              Talk to your provider. “If you’re new at this, it’s best to consult your physician before starting just to make sure there is no reason why you shouldn’t start exercising,” Halterman said.

 •              Make exercise a habit. “The most important thing is consistency. Every day builds of on the previous day.”

 •              Mix it up: “Do different things. Your body muscles have memory to them so you need to change things up and you burn more calories that way.”

 Watch Reginald Wilson’s story and the benefits he’s gained from exercise here.

Reginald Wilson_v1 from Novant Health Healthy Headlines on Vimeo .