Health Care

Regular exercise may reverse damage to ageing heart, prevent cardiac failure

Regular exercise may reverse damage to ageing heart, prevent cardiac failure

The research also explains that this situation can be controlled by joining hands with aerobic activity for two years. Researchers say moderate physical exercise can reverse the effects of sedentarism and aging which can cause problems like heart failure, provided you do it often enough.

"The wider ramifications of this study for healthy ageing need to be explored", he said.

Conducted by the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, the study followed middle-aged and baby boomer participants over two years as they partook in regular sessions of aerobic exercise.

Previous research suggests hearts become enlarged when the muscle is overworked due to an underlying condition, such as high blood pressure.

What wasn't known is how late in life a person can act to reduce that risk, and how much effort this would require. Those who did the yoga and weight sessions, however, did not show improved heart health.

They found those who had worked out around four days a week had healthier hearts and also found that their oxygen uptake was also good.

Study participants built up to those levels‚ beginning with three‚ 30-minute‚ moderate exercise sessions for the first three months and peaking at 10 months when two high-intensity aerobic intervals were added. "That doesn't mean it had no benefits, but it wasn't enough to preserve that youthful rubber-band-like compliance". It was also noted that these cardiac improvements were not seen in subjects who commenced exercising after the age of 65, suggesting the window for exercise-related heart elasticity was between 45 and 64.

These volunteers were assigned to two different groups.

For their study, the investigators had randomized 61 middle-aged participants, 52 of whom stayed for 2 years in their exercise training (n=28) or attention control group (n=24).

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'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 behavior can be improved - which is late-middle age'. In addition, exercise physiologists met participants monthly throughout the intervention as training frequency, duration, and intensity progressed over time. One is an intensive exercise regimen may not be applicable in case of the general adult population.

The team investigated the effects of a training regime consisting of four to five workouts per week, each session lasting around 30 minutes plus warm-ups and cool-downs.

"People generally like interval sessions because they don't last as long", Levine said.

Aerobic exercises are sustained activities, such as walking, swimming, running and others that strengthen the heart and other muscles and help the body use oxygen effectively.

One or two other sessions should be aerobic workouts specially prescribed to each participant, performed at a moderate intensity. "Yes there is, we can start by getting off the couch to have a more active lifestyle".

Such benefits can be reaped as long as people start regularly exercising before age 65, a time when the heart still retains some plasticity and ability to remodel itself. "We apparently now can reverse the effects of sedentary aging". The intense workout was also extremely important, Levine said, even if it was just once a week.

"It's my prescription for life", Levine said.

'I think people should be able to do this as part of their personal hygiene - just like brushing your teeth and taking a shower'. It has helped many middle-aged people to tune up their old hearts. The Dallas Heart Study is created to improve the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of heart disease.


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