An observational study by the journal “Heart – Italy” was published online on February 14, 2022. This study tracked about 3,000 people aged 65 or older for more than twenty years. The said study was concluded with the following results:
Does exercise prevent heart diseases in your 70s?
It is well known that exercise is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular issues and a longer life, irrespective of ethnicity and gender. But until now, only a few studies have looked exclusively into whether exercise in later life can help ward off heart problems in old age.
To fill the knowledge gap, researchers at the University of Padua in Italy analyzed the data obtained from the Progetto Veneto Anziani (ProVA). In this study, the researchers monitored heart disease of more than 3,000 Italians aged 65 and older over two decades, including coronary heart disease and heart failure. They also tracked their physical activity levels. While moderate physical activity included walking, bowling, and fishing, vigorous physical activity included gym workouts, cycling, swimming, gardening, and dancing.
This observational study was published online on February 14, 2022, in the “Heart” journal. The researchers concluded the study with the following results:
- Overall, physical activity (exercise) was associated with fewer rates of cardiovascular diseases.
- At least twenty minutes of daily moderate to vigorous exercise (physical activity) could be the sweet spot for preventing cardiovascular issues in your 70s. However, any amount of exercise is better than none.
- People who did between twenty and forty minutes a day of moderate-intensity activity (example: brisk walking, bowling, fishing) or vigorous-intensity activity (examples: working out in a gym, cycling, gardening, swimming, or dancing) had fewer cardiovascular problems & heart attacks and a lower risk of premature death than the people who weren’t physically active.
- Among men, at least twenty minutes of daily exercise was associated with a 52% lower risk of cardiovascular problems than those who didn’t exercise.
- The most significant benefits were seen among men aged between 70 to 75 than those in the late 70s and beyond.
- The study supported the maxim of “better late than never” when it comes to exercise but also showed the earlier, the better, according to a linked editorial.
Notes: Since the study was observational, it can not be claimed conclusively that exercise can avoid heart disease. The favorable results of exercise may be explained by its ability to slow down the atherosclerosis process through better control of blood pressure, blood glucose level, and lipid profile.
Whatever may be the case, these results suggest that public health policies should be focused on promoting to start off exercising in mid- and early late life, given a probable greater effectiveness in lowering cardiovascular risks.
Moreover, many other studies have found that moderate- or vigorous-intensity exercise does help protect your heart and brain, help prevent diabetes, cancer, and other chronic diseases, and lower the risk of premature death.
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, the USA, obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me, age is just a number!”