Even a little exercise may be enough to protect the hearts of older adults
Just a moderate level of exercise is enough to help protect the hearts of older adults from cardiovascular disease. © SolStock/Istock.com
Published Saturday, January 7, 2017 2:28PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, January 7, 2017 3:21PM EST
New research from Finland has found yet more evidence to suggest that physical activity can help boost heart health.
The study, carried out by researchers from Florida International University, the University of Oulu, the University of Helsinki, and the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland, set out to look at how exercise in older adults and seniors could reduce deaths associated with cardiovascular disease.
Although the benefits of exercise are well known, until now little research has looked at the benefits of exercise in this particular group of people on heart health, with most previous studies focusing on the middle-aged.
For their research the team looked at data taken from 2,465 men and women aged 65 to 74 who participated in a national health study conducted between 1997 and 2007 in Finland.
Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire that assessed their lifestyle habits, including whether they smoked or took part in any exercise.
Data was also gathered on the participants' level of education, height and weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
After following the participants until the end of 2013, the researchers then looked at the Finnish mortality register to see how many of the participants had died, and what they had died from.
The results showed that participating in moderate or high-levels of physical activity were associated with a decreased risk of heart disease and and decreased risk of death from all causes, including strokes or heart attacks.
Commenting on their findings, the researchers explained that exercise can help to protect the heart in several different ways -- by helping people to maintain a healthy body weight, lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of blood clots, stabilizing blood sugar levels, and improving the ratio of unhealthy to healthy cholesterol in your body.
And there is good news for those wanting to enjoy these many health benefits, with the researchers also adding that already being moderately active is enough to make a positive impact on your health, and for those who aren't, just a few short walks each day can also have a significant effect on health and lower the risk of heart disease.
The results can be found published online in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.