It is no secret that middle age can bring about several health issues for many people. One of the biggest health risks and issues, to those of middle age, is heart-related illnesses. These are often from sedentary or stale lives, especially in those who don’t exercise enough in their daily life. Having a sedentary lifestyle is a major contributor to heart failure and higher risks for heart failure. However, several new medical studies have shown that regular exercise is the key to reversing heart aging damage.
Heart Health and Exercise in the News
There’s Still Time for Many To Improve Their Heart Health
Science News released a new study from the UT Medical Center in January about the use of exercise in middle age to reverse the damage that heart aging causes. This study shows that the exercise routines should be started before the patient turns 65, which is late middle age, to ensure that the heart retains some of the plasticity to essentially remodel itself. The exercise routine should include things like high-intensity workouts, low-intensity recoveries, and a proper warmup at the start. Most of the research has proven that working out two or three times a week just isn’t enough to reverse the damage, and exercise should happen at least four or more times a week for the effective results.
The Value of Pairing Diet and Exercise
Similarly, an older study was conducted in 2012 that showed much of the same information. Regular exercise is beneficial for helping reduce the risk of heart disease and failure as well as other benefits for the body. While regular physical activity on its own is important, this study reveals the importance of integrating a healthy diet into one’s lifestyle. Inactivity, coupled with a bad diet, is cause for higher weight gain, which can put stress on the heart. Those who lead a sedentary life will be at risk to develop things like high blood pressure or heart disease down the road, and their risk is much higher than someone who is physically active and intentional with consuming a healthy diet.
Transitioning to a More Active and Healthy Lifestyle
If moving from a previously sedentary lifestyle, the workouts might need to become a gradual part of the life of the patient. This might mean starting with 30 minutes of moderate intensity options along with the warmup and recovery periods. The workouts might only take place on four days instead of five. Essentially, a patient should consult their doctor for the proper care needed before starting a diet and exercise routine. While it is important to reducing the risk of diseases and other heart-related issues, it should be done with consideration to the current health of the patient.
Physical exercise should include a proper warmup to reduce the risk of injury during the workout, followed by 30 minutes of high-intensity cardio or a moderate intensity option. The recovery after the initial 30 minutes should include low-intensity options to help bring down the heart rate and breathing. The exercises can include things like tennis, walking, dancing, biking, or aerobic exercises.
It is true that many studies have proven the effectiveness of physical exercise and diet to help reduce the risk of related heart diseases and issues. It can be a huge factor in the health of a person as they reach the end of middle age.
- Erin J. Howden, Satyam Sarma, Justin S. Lawley, Mildred Opondo, William Cornwell, Douglas Stoller, Marcus A. Urey, Beverley Adams-Huet, Benjamin D. Levine. Reversing the Cardiac Effects of Sedentary Aging in Middle Age—A Randomized Controlled Trial: Implications For Heart Failure Prevention. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.117.030617 Circulation. 2018;CIRCULATIONAHA.117.030617. Originally published January 8, 2018
- “Proper Exercise Can Reverse Damage from Heart Aging.” January 8, 2018. Southwestern Medical Center. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180108090132.htm