We know exercise is important when it comes to keeping your heart strong and healthy; if you’re not doing moderate physical activity for 30-60 minutes on most days of the week, you’re doing your heart a disservice, particularly over the long term. Now research suggests another key heart benefit of regular exercise: heart attack survival.

A study involving more than 14,000 adults, none of whom had experienced a heart attack at the start of the study, tracked their activity levels and health for more than 30 years (1976-2013). At baseline, subjects were categorized as sedentary (light activity for less than 2 hours per week), light exercisers (2-4 hours of walking or light activity weekly) or moderate / high exercisers (more than 2 hours of vigorous activity such as biking per week).

Among people who suffered heart attacks during the study period, light exercisers were 32 percent more likely to survive the attack than sedentary subjects; moderate to high exercisers who suffered a heart attack were 47 percent more likely to survive.

The message is simple: Exercise! Your heart will thank you for it. Talk to your doctor to learn more.