Exercising, even a bit, can make elderly heart patients live longer

March 9, 2018

A study from Norway has found that elderly heart patients benefit even from a bit of exercise: they are 19 % likely to die than sedentary participants, and 18 % less likely to die even if they stop exercising

“This is important as most individuals tend to change their levels of activity over time,” said lead study author Trine Moholdt, a researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim

“The take-home message for patients is that they should keep on moving,” Moholdt said. “And even if they have been inactive so far, it is never too late to start.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults aged 18 to 64 get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise or at least 75 minutes of intense activity every week. Ideally, each exercise session should be at least 10 minutes long.

Moderate activities can include things like walking, gardening, ballroom dancing, water aerobics, or taking a leisurely bike ride. Vigorous exercise includes things like jogging, lap swimming, and cycling at a pace of at least 10 miles an hour, according to the American Heart Association.

One of the study’s limitations is that researchers lacked data on whether any weight loss was intentional or related to health problems.

The analysis wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how changes in activity levels or weight might impact longevity.

“We have known for decades that maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active were independently associated with lower risks of experiencing a coronary heart disease event or of dying from any cause,” said Claude Bouchard of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

This study offers fresh evidence that it matters how people lose weight, Bouchard, author of an accompanying editorial, said.

“There is no doubt that weight loss or weight maintenance programs that incorporate exercise are healthier than programs based solely on caloric restriction, even though the latter carries also multiple health benefits,” Bouchard said.


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Category: Education, Features

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