Even at the age of 50, getting into sport offers solid protection against the risk of heart failure due to sedentary aging.
Getting into sport is always good, no matter how old you are. A new study has shown that two years of exercise have significantly improved the health of people who had been sedentary for the past fifty years.
Two years of exercise
61 people aged 45 to 64 participated in the study. All were sedentary and healthy when they started to play sports. During the selection of the candidates, the doctors ensured that none suffered from hypertension, apnea of sleep, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, smoking, coronary artery disease or cardiopathy. Anyone who was already doing more than 30 minutes of physical exercise three times a week was also excluded from the experiment.
The frequency, duration and intensity of the training of test persons have increased over time, each benefiting from a personalized sports schedule. Results: Two years of exercise improved the maximum oxygen uptake and decreased the stiffness of the 53 participants who completed the experiment.
Exercises of high and moderate intensity
Regular physical training can therefore provide strong protection against the risk of heart failure due to sedentary aging. On the other hand, having poor physical condition in middle age is associated with increased cardiac stiffness and increases the future risk of heart failure.
To reverse the effects of sedentary aging on the heart, the fitness program must include high intensity and moderate intensity exercise.
Another lesson from the study is that physical training, performed at a very high level over a lifetime, can also offset the adverse effects of aging and inactivity.
In fact, sport is beneficial to all ages of life. A recent study, for example, demonstrates how exercise is able to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease, which usually appears around age 60 and up. Sport is also beneficial during pregnancy and adolescence, improving the health of pregnant women and strengthening the bones of young people.
Since March 1, 2017, a decree allows physicians to prescribe adapted physical activity (APA) for patients with long-term illness (ALD).