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by Shane Stokes
January 10, 2018
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A new study offers encouragement to those in middle age, with researches behind the study published in the journal Circulation suggesting that exercise can reverse or reduce the risk of heart failure caused by decades of sedentary living.
The study analysed the hearts of 53 adults between 45 and 64 years of age who were healthy but were described as having no history of regular exercise. The group was divided in two, with one half doing a progressively more intensive anaerobic exercise regime. The other half did yoga, balance training and weight training three times a week.
After two years, the first group displayed an 18% improvement in their maximum oxygen intake during exercise and a greater than 25% improvement in the plasticity of the left ventricular muscle of the heart. The second group did not show such benefits.
“The key to a healthier heart in middle age is the right dose of exercise, at the right time in life,” said the lead author of the study, Dr Benjamin Levine. “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 behaviour can be improved – which is late-middle age. The result was a reversal of decades of a sedentary lifestyle on the heart for most of the study participants.”
According to Dr Richard Siow, the vice-dean for the faculty of life sciences and medicine at King’s College London, the study provided further evidence that “we can, in a way, rejuvenate or make the cells in the heart, and also in the blood vessels for that matter, resemble younger cells through an exercise programme.”
Click through to read the full story at the BBC.