Exercise Boosts Heart Health in Elderly People

Older women exercising

A new study suggests that exercise can compensate for the effects of obesity on older people and boost heart health

A new study suggests that overweight seniors can boost the health of their hearts even without having to lost weight. They should be focusing on exercising to obtain many benefits for their hearts.

The research shows that and leading an active lifestyle can help older people more in terms of their cardiovascular health than weight loss could. Dr. Klodian Dhana, the author of the study, declared in the latest issue of European Journal of Preventive Cardiology that being active is vital for the health of the heart.

She advises old people of all weights to keep moving and do housework, walks, bicycle rides, and be as active as possible. This will help them maintain their cardiovascular health more than a regular weight would.

The study took place over a period of 15 years and it looked at more than 5,300 people. The participants were aged between 55 and 97 and had no heart problems whatsoever at the beginning of the study. At the end of the 15-year study, the results showed that 16 percent of the participants developed heart diseases.

The researchers discovered that there was no link between the body mass index (BMI) of the people who developed heart problems and the onset of the diseases. BMI is an average between weight and height and the bigger it is, the fatter the person is and more likely to develop other health problems.

Another discovery of the study was the fact that physical activity was linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular problems, regardless of how big the person’s BMI was.

Dhana warned people that obesity is indeed linked with heart disease and people are advised to lose weight. However, the situation is different for elderly people. For older people, weight loss, usually when it is unintentional, is associated with muscle loss and death.

What she is trying to stress is the fact that the study does not try to say that obesity plays no role in the development of heart disease in general. The research only focuses on the elderly and suggests that physical activity is one of the most important factors for middle aged and old people, at least when it comes to heart disease.

The main idea would be that obese old people might boost the health of their hearts if they exercise or lead an active lifestyle. The guidelines recommend around 150 minutes of moderate workout per week to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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