If this is your idea of exercise, then THINK AGAIN!
I recently blogged about why you should make exercise a permanent habit in your life. Now, this Reuters story backs up that recommendation with a new study showing the heart benefits from physical activity that occurs at any age.
Lead researcher Dr. Dietrich Rothenbacher, from the Department of Epidemiology in the German Center for Research on Aging at the the University of Heidelberg in Germany, looked at previously gathered data of patients between the ages of 40 to 68 years old who had been questioned about their lifestyle and exercise habits. They studied what effect physical activity had on patients with coronary heart disease as well as a group of volunteers of the same age and sex who had not developed heart problems.
The patients observed who experienced smoking, diabetes, and high blood pressure tended to be less active and more lethargic than the ones who were healthy. Conversely, the active patients were found to have a 60 percent less chance of developing coronary heart disease than their lazier counterparts. In fact, the people who made exercise a regular part of their adult lives ended up having the lowest rates of heart disease among all the study participants.
However, the most compelling part of Dr. Rothenbacher's research was the revelation that inactive adults who began an exercise routine as simple as walking after the age of 40 were nearly 55 percent LESS likely to develop heart disease than if they had not increased their physical activity.
In other words, IT'S NOT TOO LATE FOR EXERCISE no matter how old you are. This coincides perfectly with another recent study that found senior citizens who remain active late in their lives tend to live healthier, longer lives. This should inspire even the most glued-to-the-sofa individual to get up and move their body!
"You don't have to go to the gym. Just get off the couch," Dr. Rothenbacher exclaimed. "But we also found that people who changed their physical activity patterns in late adult life also reduced their risk for coronary heart disease."
That should be motivation to start becoming more active, right? Nobody wants to develop heart disease, but too often we ignore this very basic element in preventing it from happening -- JUST MOVE YOUR BODY! You don't have to climb a mountain, ride a bike for 30 miles, or run a marathon. Just incorporate regular activities into your schedule that will raise your heart rate and make you sweat a little. Climb the stairs, park at the farthest parking space from Wal-mart, take a stroll down to the park, ANYTHING beats sitting in front of that boob tube stuffing your face with high-carb snacks and sugary sodas!
Dr. Rothenbacher gives the "well duh" conclusion of the year.
"Our results suggest that a more active physical activity pattern is clearly associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, and that changing from a sedentary to a more physically active lifestyle even in later adulthood may strongly decrease CHD risk," Dr. Rothenbacher said.
Is that right? Getting active will reduce your risk of heart disease? How many of us REALLY needed a study to convince us of that fact? The truth is exercise is essential for lengthening your lifespan and keeping your heart healthy with just 30 minutes of it daily.
This study was published in the scientific journal Heart.
You can send a message to Dr. Dietrich Rothenbacher through his contact page.