By 2050, two billion people worldwide will be over the age of 60.
Yup, more people than ever before will have huge amounts of knowledge and life experience to draw from, but more people than ever before will also be at risk for potentially deadly health conditions — including heart disease and stroke.
That’s why researchers the world over have made it their mission to discover ways to lower these age-related health risks.
And, a team in South Korea just helped bring home the importance of one extremely effective way…
Studying over a million people
The scientists, working out of Seoul National University Graduate School Department of Biomedical Sciences in Seoul followed over 1.1 million people over the age of 60 for a full eight years.
They looked at their health checkups, how much physical activity they got on a regular basis (and what types) and whether their level of activity changed for the better or worse over the timeframe.
They then compared the data to the participant’s risk of suffering heart disease or stroke and of course, adjusted for compounding factors, like smoking, alcohol use, and other medical conditions.
And, it all came down to this…
To grab the highest levels of protection from heart disease and stroke once you pass the 60 mark, you have to exercise more than you did when you were younger.
In fact, the researchers found that people in the study who went from inactive to moderately to vigorously active three to four times a week reduced their risk of heart problems by a full 11 percent.
And, people who were already getting that level of exercise one or two times a week, who went up to five, benefitted for a 10 percent lower heart risk.
Unfortunately, the reverse was also true…
People who used to be extremely active and regularly exercised five times a week but became sedentary after 60 ended up with a whopping 27 percent higher risk of cardiovascular problems.
In other words, exercise could be the best medicine for your heart after 60.
And, don’t think that if you’re already living with a chronic condition or disability, that statement doesn’t apply to you.
The truth is that the study showed those with a disability who became more physically active lowered their heart risk by 16 percent while people with issues like diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol problems grabbed a 4- 7 percent added protection.
Mr. Kyuwoong Kim, a Ph.D. student at Seoul National University Graduate School Department of Biomedical Sciences in Seoul had this to say about the study’s results, “The most important message from this research is that older adults should increase or maintain their exercise frequency to prevent cardiovascular disease.”
Bottom line: Moving more protects your heart
So, what kind of physical activity will help you protect your heart?
Well, anything that gets you moving is a step in the right direction.
Some good options include:
- Brisk walking
- Aerobic classes
And, don’t forget to build your muscles through strength and resistance training as well.
You can start simple with bodyweight exercises such as chair squats, lunges, and wall pushups and once you feel ready, you can add free weights to make your muscles work harder.
Remember, passing 60 means adding more physical activity to your daily life, not less if you want to keep your heart ticking along.
Editor’s Note: The results of a $100 million dollar study was recently presented to the American Heart Association. The verdict? Heart procedures don’t seem to help people with stable heart disease avoid heart attacks more than drugs and lifestyle changes do. So before you submit to any heart treatment, discover the truth you won’t find at your doctor’s office: Read this FREE report…