Even people over 50, who have never played sports all the time, can easily catch up and prolong their lives. Aging of the heart is a reversible process, scientists said. They have developed a set of exercises for middle-aged people. These exercises will help restore heart muscle health, even if a person is constantly leading a sedentary lifestyle. Also, the authors called the age line, after which it will not be so easy to rejuvenate the most important organ.
Scientists have been talking about the benefits of exercise for a long time and constantly urging everyone to follow this advice. According to them, it is never too late to start playing sports. Moreover, for those over 60, even a light “household fitness” (say, washing dishes or a short walk) can significantly prolong life.
The results of the next scientific work in this area are even more encouraging. Scientists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center report that certain exercises can reverse the aging of the heart, even if a person has been sedentary for decades.
According to experts, even at a mature age (up to 65 years), the heart retains its plasticity and the ability for so-called self-positioning. And this means that even people over 50, who have never played sports all the time, may well catch up on what they’ve lost and prolong their lives.
Experts have developed a set of exercises based on several studies. The authors not only selected the optimal loads and their combinations but also found that the frequency of training should be at least four to five times a week.
“Based on a series of studies conducted by our team over the past five years, this“ dose ”of exercise has become my lifelong prescription. I think people should do it as part of personal hygiene — just like brushing your teeth or taking a shower,” – says the head of the research group, Professor Benjamin Levin
The complex developed by scientists includes half-hour training sessions, as well as warm-up and cooling. Here are the prescriptions of experts:
- Each session of aerobic training should include four-minute exercises with intervals. It is necessary to make four approaches, while the heart rate should reach 95% of the peak speed. Each block of such loads is followed by a three-minute active recovery session. It is necessary to include exercises with relatively low intensity, which are performed at a heart rate of 60-75%.
- Two or three days a week is worth spending on exercises of medium intensity.
- One or two days a week should be given to strength training using simulators or a dumbbell.
- At least one day a week is also set aside for a long session of aerobic exercise (tennis, dancing, cycling, walking).
To check how effectively such complex works, the authors invited 53 people aged from 45 to 64 years old and divided them into two groups. Participants of the first engaged in the proposed scheme for two years.
During the first three months they trained for 30 minutes, then the workload increased and became the maximum for the 10th month of training. The control group was offered yoga classes, workouts related to balance, and fitness weight loss. Volunteers have been practicing thrice a week for two years.
Then the scientists checked the health of all participants. In the control group, no special improvements were noted. But participants from the first group showed an 18% improvement in maximum oxygen consumption during exercise. In addition, the elasticity of the muscles of the left ventricle of the heart has increased by as much as 25%.
The authors explain that this is very important since a large circle of blood circulation begins with this heart chamber. In middle-aged people, the muscles of the left ventricle thicken and become harder, with time it becomes harder and harder for you to pump blood, and as a result, heart failure develops because of this.
It is also noted that a kind of “threshold”, after which the elasticity of the heart muscles is much more difficult to restore, is the age mark of 65 years. According to experts, the “window” from 45 to 64 years old is the most appropriate time to begin to engage in heart health, if a person has not done this before.
Scientific work on the results of the study published in the publication Circulation.