KERRIE FITNESS – It’s Never Too Late to Start Exercising.

  • Being active four-to-five times a week improves people’s heart flexibility
  • Previous research links stiff, hardened heart muscles to life-threatening attacks
  • Exercising three times a week does little to protect heart health from aging
  • People should incorporate this into their routines like brushing their teeth
  • Heart disease causes around one in four deaths every year in the US 

Five half-an-hour workouts a week is the ‘sweet spot’ for reducing middle-aged cough potatoes’ heart attack risk, new research reveals.

Being active four-to-five times every seven days significantly improves middle-aged people’s heart muscle flexibility, a study found today. Stiff, hardened muscles have previously been linked to heart attacks.

Study author Dr Benjamin Levine from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, said: ‘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.

‘We’ve also found that the “sweet spot” in life to get off the couch and start exercising is in late-middle age, when the heart still has plasticity.’

The researchers believe inactive, middle-aged people should slot exercise into their routine in the same way they do brushing their teeth or showering.

Heart disease is responsible for around one in four deaths every year in the US. In the UK, more than two-and-a-half million adults are living with the condition, which raises their risk of suffering a fatal heart attack.

How the research was carried out 

The researchers analyzed 53 healthy, sedentary people with an average age of 53.

Of which, 34 completed two years of exercise training, while the remainder participated in yoga and balance training.

The participants exercising more rigorously started with three half-an-hour moderate activity sessions for the first three months, which caused them to break a sweat but still allowed them to hold a conversation.

Two high-intensity, half-hour workouts were added to their regimens after 10 months.

A catheter was guided through all of the participants’ pulmonary arteries to observe their blood flow and measure the pressure in their hearts.

Scans of their hearts’ structures were also taken.

The participants’ rate of oxygen consumption was taken to determine any change in the quality of their fitness.

‘People should be able to do this as part of their personal hygiene’

Results reveal, after two years of exercise, middle-aged people’s oxygen intake during activity increases by 18 percent, while their heart muscle flexibility is boosted by 25 percent.

Dr Levine said: ‘Based on a series of studies performed by our team over the past five years, this “dose” of exercise has become my prescription for life.

‘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.’

The researchers found exercising just two-to-three times a week does not significantly protect heart health from aging.

Dr Levine added: ‘But committed exercise four to five times a week was almost as effective at preventing sedentary heart ageing as the more extreme exercise of elite athletes.

‘We’ve also found that the “sweet spot” in life to get off the couch and start exercising is in late-middle age, when the heart still has plasticity.’

‘I think people should be able to do this as part of their personal hygiene – just like brushing your teeth and taking a shower.’

The findings were published in the journal Circulation.

Speaking of finding just 30 minutes, KERRIE FITNESS has digital classes, 30 minutes long.  Head to www.kerriefitness.com.au and download your copy today.

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