Connection of Physical Activity to Heart Health

For people 60 years old or older, exercising four to five times a week is enough to maintain optimal heart health, according to a recent study. The study, conducted by The Journal of Physiology, looked at various amounts of weekly exercise for people 60 years old or older.
The Study Looked at the Connection of Physical Activity to Heart Health
Research found varying amounts of physical activity each week had different effects on the different arteries in the heart. Heart arteries are the blood vessels that transport blood from the heart to all the tissues in the body. As people grow older, their arteries begin to stiffen. Stiffen arteries increases a person’s chances of developing heart disease.
The research study looked at 102 of physically active older people the stiffen in their arteries. They divided participants, who all had been physically active throughout their lives, into categories. These categories were based on the number of days they exercised:
1. Less than two days each week
2. Two to three days per week
3. Four to five days each week
4. Six to seven days per week
Older People Who Exercised More Improved the Arteries in Their Heart
Those who exercised two to three day each week may develop minimized stiffening in their middle-sized arteries. The middle-sized arteries are responsible for supplying the neck and head with oxygenated blood. Those who exercised at least four times per week did not have a change in their mid-sized or larger, central arteries. The central arteries are responsible for supplying oxygenated blood to the stomach and abdomen.
The study did not take into account societal and/or diet factors that may influence results. The goal of the study was to help shape future fitness programs for older adults.
Recent Analysis Finds Heart Attack and Stroke Reduced over a 20-Year Period
Researchers from University of Southern California found in 2018 that strokes and heart attacks declined in older Americans in the last 20 years. Researchers contributed the decline to smoking less and an increase in drugs to lower blood pressure and control cholesterol. Both men and women saw a decrease in these medical conditions.
In that research study, participants who were 40 years old or older were studied from 1990 to 2010. It looked at participants’ risk factors for these medical conditions which include body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, triglycerides, blood sugar and cholesterol.

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