Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Exercise can still help middle-aged couch potatoes

Study says regular exercise takes years away from idleness 912018 Exercise can still help middle-aged couch potatoes
Melissa Porter | 09 January, 2018, 16:10

The research gets a definite conclusion in front which will sound useful to all those who never skip their exercise routine. They found that exercise reduced the risk of heart failure caused by a sedentary lifestyle.

Such are the findings of a two-year study conducted by the Dallas-based Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, a collaboration between UT Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

"By varying the duration, intensity and type of training over the course of the week, the training was not onerous, with excellent adherence [by participants] to the training sessions", she said. But what was surprising to Levine was how quickly heart health can be revived, even later in life, with the introduction of exercise.

To start the study, researchers recruited 53 participants, ages 45 to 64.

Participants were divided into two groups and either received two years of training, including high and moderate intensity aerobic exercise four or more days a week, or the control group, which participated in regular yoga, balance training and weight training three times a week for two years.

A 4- to 5-day-per-week exercise routine, maintained consistently for two years, managed to rewind the effects of decades of sitting for a group of 52 middle-aged Texans. But the exercise group showed an 18 percent improvement in their maximum oxygen intake during exercise.

Why is that important? "You take them out of the box, stretch them and they snap back". "Then put that rubber band in your junk drawer and what happens". Stiff, hardened muscles have previously been linked to heart attacks.

Dr Levine told the BBC his team would next look at whether the same kind of improvements shown in the study can be made in people at high risk of heart failure, such as those with high blood pressure or diabetes and those who are obese. The heart's left ventricle is the chamber that pumps oxygen-enriched blood back out into the body.

He said it provided further evidence that "we can, in a way, rejuvenate or make the cells in the heart, and also in the blood vessels for that matter, resemble younger cells through an exercise programme".

Previous IEEM studies had shown that by age 70, the effects on the heart of aging and being sedentary couldn't be reversed.

The study also signs that an accurate exercising routine in mid-age can help you to cover your heart with the safety guards.

There were some limitations to the study. "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's not something that gets added onto the end of the day: You brush your teeth, you change your clothes, you eat your food".

Exercise is always is a good thing which your doctor and all the health specialists ask you to join hands with. Exercise is equally important. "You need to find ways to incorporate it".

One day's session lasted an hour and was of moderate intensity.

"I could barely walk one kilometre without becoming breathless". One to two of the other sessions were longer but of more moderate intensity.

What this means, says Levine, is that there is hope for couch potatoes who have been relatively sedentary for most of their lives.

That leaves two to three days for 30-minute workouts in which you're "breaking a sweat, being a little short of breath but able to carry on a conversation", he says.

Weight training at least one day a week should be part of the couch-potato fix reginmen. "I think our society needs to be reorganized along that strategy".

Middle-age is not too late to start exercising.

Even though the participants were on their own for most of those sessions, they got a lot of guidance about what to do, Levine said.