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Regular Exercise Can Reverse Ageing Process of Heart and Arteries

Researchers have completed a study which has shown that regular exercise of four or five times a week is required to prevent the main heart arteries from ‘stiffening up.’

The study, which was published in The Journal of Physiology and carried out using 100 people in their 60s, stated that exercising two or three times a week only kept ‘some’ arteries healthy, not all. It was added that although any form of exercise provides benefits to the body and reduces the risk of heart problems, carrying out the correct amount of exercise at a certain age can work to reverse the ageing of the bodies heart and blood vessels, therefore promoting better health and wellbeing.

The arteries are blood vessels in the body which work to transport blood in and out of not only the heart, but all other parts of the body too. These arteries can begin to stiffen as people age and an unhealthy lifestyle can also cause them to become blocked due to fat. The study reviewed the exercise history of the participants throughout their lives and measured the stiffness of their arteries, to make their conclusion.

People who exercise two to three time a week for 30 minutes at a time over their lifetime possessed healthier ‘youthful middle-sized’ arteries, which supply blood to the neck and head. However, people who carried out exercise four or five times a week had healthier large central arteries also, which carry blood to the abdomen and chest.

Lead Author from the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine in Dallas, Texas, Dr Benjamin Levine said: “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.”

He also added that waiting until one was 70 before beginning to exercise was too little too late, as the heart would not be able to reverse its ageing process at that stage in life.

 

BBC News. ‘Exercising Regularly ‘Can Keep Heart and Arteries Young.’’ BBC News Online. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-44171204  (21 May 2018).

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