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It is never too late to start exercising, according to a large study in which people over 60 who became more active saw their risk of heart attack and stroke reduced

Another reason to be active in old age: people over 60 who only train one hour a week run a lower risk of heart disease or stroke, large research shows

  • People over 60 who started training reduced their risk of disease by 11 percent
  • Those who left the exercise increased their risk by 27 percent
  • People with disabilities and conditions such as type 2 diabetes also benefited
  • Researchers insisted on & # 39; recipes & # 39; of physical activity to prevent disease
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It is never too late to start exercising, according to a large study in which active people over 60 saw their risk of heart attack and stroke reduced.

People who train from sedentary to three or four times a week reduced their risk of heart problems by up to 11 percent compared to those who didn't train.

And the level of activity needed to cause a change was just one hour of running per week – less than the 75 to 150 minutes recommended by the NHS.

The survey of more than one million people showed that those who trained five times a week but stopped, saw their risk increase by 27 percent.

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The researchers in South Korea said their findings were clear even in people with disabilities and chronic conditions such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.

They have encouraged doctors to prescribe physical activity to elderly patients in an effort to prevent major health problems.

It is never too late to start exercising, according to a large study in which people over 60 who became more active saw their risk of heart attack and stroke reduced

It is never too late to start exercising, according to a large study in which people over 60 who became more active saw their risk of heart attack and stroke reduced

Kyuwoong Kim, a PhD student at the Seoul National University, said: & The most important message of this study is that older adults should increase or maintain their training frequency to prevent cardiovascular disease.

& # 39; While older adults find it difficult to exercise regularly during their age, our research suggests that this is necessary.

& # 39; We believe that community-based programs to encourage physical activity in the elderly should be promoted by governments.

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& # 39; From a clinical perspective, doctors also need physical activity & # 39; prescribe & # 39; along with other recommended medical treatments for people at high risk for cardiovascular disease. & # 39;

Physical activity is well established as a means to prevent heart disease, but it is not clear whether the benefits will continue to exist when the training level changes.

The study looked at 1,119,925 men and women aged 60 or older.

HOW DOES THE EXERCISE PROTECT THE HEART?

Exercise burns calories that can maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is one of the biggest causes of heart problems.

It lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and helps regulate blood sugar levels, all of which are related to cardiovascular disease.

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A single exercise can immediately protect your heart through a process known as ischemic preconditioning. A little ischemia – defined as insufficient blood flow to a part of the body, especially the heart – can be a good thing.

It allows the heart to adapt and protect itself against longer episodes of ischemia, which normally occurs due to a blockage in arteries.

Source: Harvard Medical School

They underwent two health checks by the Korean National Health Insurance Service in 2009-2010 and again in 2011-2012.

At each check, the level of moderate and vigorous exercise of the participants was calculated per week.

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One workout was considered half an hour or more of moderate exercise such as brisk walking or cycling, or more than 20 minutes of vigorous exercise such as running or swimming.

Researchers assessed how activity levels changed between the two controls.

They then collected data on heart diseases and strokes from January 2013 to December 2016 and identified 114,856 cases.

The researchers discovered that 22 percent of those who were inactive during the first checkup had increased their physical activity by the time of the second.

Exercising three to four times a week had reduced their risk of heart problems by 11 percent and reduced the risk by five percent once or twice a week.

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A little more than half (54 percent) of people who had trained five or more times a week at the time of the first screening, had become completely inactive by the time of the second.

These people were found to have a 27 percent increased risk of heart problems, but less if they did exercise occasionally.

When we look at people with disabilities and chronic conditions, a switch from inactive to active three to four times a week also reduced their risk of cardiovascular problems.

People with disabilities could lower their risk by 16 percent, and people with diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol levels could lower their risk by up to seven percent.

About two-thirds of those who participated in the study said they were physically inactive during both controls.

The NHS says the over-65s should do a mix of moderate and powerful isobic activity for a total of 150 minutes per week, plus two strength training sessions.

The authors said they cannot be sure whether the findings will apply outside of the Korean population due to differences in ethnicity and lifestyle.

They also said that a limitation was that the physical activity levels themselves were reported and that they had no information about other types of physical activity, such as housework.

The study is published in the European Heart Journal.

WHAT DOES THE NHS RECOMMEND MORE THAN 65S?

Adults aged 65 or over who are generally fit and have no health problems that limit their mobility should try to be active on a daily basis, the NHS says.

  • Minimum 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or walking every week and
  • Strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)
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Or

  • 75 minutes of powerful aerobic activity such as running or a game of tennis every week and
  • Strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

Or

  • A mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity every week (for example, two 30-minute runs plus 30 minutes of brisk walking equals 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity) and
  • Strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

A general rule of thumb is that one-minute vigorous activity offers the same health benefits as two-minute moderate activity.

If this amount of exercise initially seems unattainable, a good start of 10 minutes of moderate exercise per day, such as brisk walking.

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