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Middle-aged can reverse heart risk with exercise: Study

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Health Desk-- 9 January, 2018: A study recently revealed people into late middle age can reverse or reduce the risk of heart failure caused by decades of sedentary living by exercising. But there is a catch - it takes two years of aerobic exercise, four to five days a week, researchers said.

The study analysed the hearts of 53 adults aged 45-64 who were healthy but had no history of exercising regularly.

Research has shown that sedentary behaviours - such as sitting or reclining for long periods of time - increase the risk of heart disease. The study’s participants were divided into two groups, with one following an aerobic exercise routine that progressed in intensity over the two years and another doing yoga, balance training and weight training three times a week, also for two years.

Dr Benjamin Levine, lead author of the study and the founder and director of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, a joint programme between Texas Health Resources and UT Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, Texas, said: “The key to a healthier heart in middle age is the right dose of exercise, at the right time in life.

The aerobic exercise group showed an 18% improvement in their maximum oxygen intake during exercise and a more than 25% improvement in “plasticity” in the left ventricular muscle of the heart - both markers of a healthier heart.

However, the benefits were not seen in the second group.

The study was published in the journal Circulation.

—Courtesy: BBC health