Keep your heart young and healthy by exercising 4 to 5 days a week

Healthcare experts always recommend engaging in physical activities, and for good reason. Exercising does a lot of good to the overall health of a person. In fact, one study, recently published in The Journal of Physiology, suggests that exercising four to five times a week can actually slow down the aging of your heart.

Researchers from the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, Dallas and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center wanted to determine if recommended levels of exercise are enough to slow down the process of aging of the heart and blood vessel.

Their research involved 102 participants who were all above 60 years old. Each one of them consistently worked out throughout their life. They were categorized depending on the history of their exercise journey, and how many times in a week they perform their exercise regimen. In addition, the researchers measured each participant’s arterial stiffness.

The researchers categorized the participants as:

  • Sedentary – less than two exercise sessions per week
  • Casual Exercisers – two to three exercise sessions per week
  • Committed Exercisers – four to five exercise sessions per week (in line with provided guidelines)
  • Masters Athletes – six to seven exercise sessions per week

According to the results, Casual Exercisers appeared to have more youthful middle-sized arteries, which bring oxygenated blood to the head and the neck. Meanwhile, Committed Exercisers did not only have more youthful middle-size arteries, but they also have more youthful large central arteries, which are responsible for supplying blood to the chest and the abdomen.

This suggests that different levels of physical workouts affect the arteries differently, which is potentially vital information for creating and developing long-term exercise programs. (Related: Exercise found to treat chronic disease conditions better than drugs, with no toxicity.)

“This work is really exciting because it enables us to develop exercise programmes to keep the heart youthful and even turn back time on older hearts and blood vessels,” said Benjamin Levine, co-author of the study.

He added that previous studies suggest that it’s impossible to reverse a heart’s aging once a person turns 70; however, their findings hinted otherwise. “Our current work is focusing on two years of training in middle-aged men and women, with and without risk factors for heart diseases, to see if we can reverse the aging of a heart and blood vessels by using the right amount of exercise at the right time,” Levine concluded.

Exercises for the heart

Working out doesn’t always have to be laborious and expensive. There are many simple ways to break a sweat without breaking your bank, which you can also do at your convenience. The following is a list of exercises that highly benefit the heart. The best part is it doesn’t require gym memberships and it won’t take too much of your time.

  • Walking
  • Climbing the stairs
  • Riding a bike
  • Going for a swim
  • Dancing
  • Doing tai chi
  • Doing home exercise with the help of online videos
  • Water aerobics

By exercising regularly, you don’t only take care of your heart but you also achieve other health benefits, including:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Manageable weight
  • Stronger muscles
  • Prevention of the development of diabetes
  • Lower levels of stress
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Smoking cessation

Find more effective alternative ways to help improve your health by visiting

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