By now everyone has heard that exercising regularly can improve your quality of life. Hitting the gym few times a week and maintaining a good diet will do wonders in the long run. Not everyone is a fan of going to the gym though. Of course, other forms of exercise are just as good: hiking, running, doing calisthenics, swinging kettlebells, etc. Even hitting the treadmill when people reach middle age can reduce the risk of certain diseases according to a study done on 11,000 people.
The Importance of Physical Fitness
When reaching the middle age point, it is of great importance that people maintain their level of physical fitness. One of the biggest reasons is that at this age people's physique starts to decline, and if not taken care of, it can increase the risk of diseases that might cut life short by several years or even a decade. It would be best if everyone started to exercise from a young age, but it is never too late.
According to this study done on 11 000 people, hitting the treadmill for six years will yield beneficent results. The risk of heart failure is reduced by a third. Conversely, a lack of exercise in six years at the same age will increase the risk of heart failure. Heart failure is different from a heart attack. When having a heart attack, a heart muscle dies. Heart failure will decrease the strength of the heart muscle, thereby making it harder to pump enough blood to bring the required oxygen to the body.
The Leading Cause of Hospitalization
This is the leading cause of hospitalization for people who are 65 or older. The main risk factors for this disorder include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and a family history. As mentioned, genetics play a role, so one should be aware of their family history and try to intervene before it's too late. In order to shift the scales for the better, one of the main researchers recommends doing about 150min of moderate to vigorous activity each week.
Those types of activities could range from brisk walking to cycling or swimming. There is good news for those who have not done regular exercises before middle age. If they go from no activity to doing the recommended amount, it can reduce the risk of heart failure by 23%. The researchers say their findings, reported in the journal Circulation, show that it is never too late for middle-aged people to reduce the risk of heart failure by doing moderate exercise.
The Amount of Heart Failure is Increasing
According to the study co-author, Dr. Roberta Florido, the number of people who suffer from heart failure is increasing because the aging population is surviving heart attacks and other forms of heart disease. The other reason is that unlike other heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure or high cholesterol, there is no effective drug that could work to prevent heart failure. According to previous studies, people who exercised more have reduced the risk of heart failure more than people who exercise less or not at all.
As this study shows, and as many others have shown before, you don't have to do an extraordinarily hard exercise to decrease the risk of heart failure. It is important to keep in mind that in the past there were no studies to indicate how important is to exercise, although people were more active on average. Researchers these days can reach a lot of people with the hope that they will bring about changes in their lives to reduce the risk of having a heart failure.
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