Exercise in middle age can reverse heart effects of sedentary lifestyle

Exercise in middle age can reverse heart effects of sedentary lifestyle

The researchers offered a rough outline the type of exercising you'll need to do to improve heart health, assuming you're an inactive person who's otherwise healthy (a "middle-aged couch potato", to borrow the Heart Association's phrasing).

"This "dose" of exercise has become my prescription for life", said Dr. Benjamin Levine, Director of the Institute and Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern, in a press release.

"We found what we believe to be the optimal dose of the right kind of exercise, which is four to five times a week, and the "sweet spot" in time, when the heart risk from a lifetime of sedentary behavior can be improved - which is late-middle age". Half introduced a routine four to five days a week of regular, supervised cardiovascular exercise, while the other group began doing yoga and balance training for the same number of days.

The participants were required to do 150 minutes of exercise a week, as well as sessions of high-intensity training for increased fat burning.

"I think people should be able to do this [dose of exercise] as part of their personal hygiene - just like brushing your teeth and taking a shower", he said.

Previous research suggests hearts become enlarged when the muscle is overworked due to an underlying condition, such as high blood pressure.

- One of the weekly sessions included a high-intensity 30-minute workout‚ such as aerobic interval sessions in which heart rate tops 95% of peak rate for four minutes‚ with three minutes of recovery‚ repeated four times (a so-called "4x4").

The team had shown in an earlier study that two to three times per week is not enough to protect against heart failure.

Exercise in middle age can reverse heart effects of sedentary lifestyle

The researchers analyzed the hearts of 53 adults ages 45-64 who were healthy but sedentary at the start of the study - meaning they tended to sit most of the time. If it is 41-49 percent, it might indicate borderline heart failure, but not necessarily; other conditions, such as a heart attack, can also reduce ejection fraction. The heart's left ventricle is the chamber that pumps oxygen-enriched blood back out into the body. If you want to preserve the youthful structure of your heart, even if you're in late middle age, you can still do that.

The exercise group committed to a progressive exercise program which monitored participants' recorded heart rates.

In general, the recommended exercise consists of 30-minute sessions, plus warmup and cool-down. But what was surprising to Levine was how quickly heart health can be revived, even later in life, with the introduction of exercise.

Overall, the committed exercise intervention made people fitter, increasing VO2max, the maximum amount of energy used during exercise, by 18 percent. There was no change in cardiac stiffness among the controls. At the end of six months, all three groups showed improvement in blood pressure, BMI, cholesterol, and triglycerides, but those who did both showed two times greater reductions.

There were no such improvements in the control group.

Moderate-intensity exercise is that which still causes you to perspire but is not so intense that you can not carry on a conversation.

The study also signs that an accurate exercising routine in mid-age can help you to cover your heart with the safety guards. The participants were not diverse-most were white-so it's unclear that there may be differences in findings among other racial groups.


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