A new research published in the Journal of Physiology revealed that exercising for 4-5 days a week slows down your heart’s ageing. This research could pave the way for the development of new exercising strategies to improve the health of the heart. Owing to sedentary life it is a common scenario wherein majority of the people even in the younger age are the victims of heart diseases. Although the benefits of exercise on the health has been well established, this research brought to light the effects of varying exercise on the different sized arteries. The arteries which are responsible for the transport of blood in and out of the heart stiffen with ageing. As a result, people are more prone to heart problems when they age.
The researchers examined 102 people over the age of 60 years with a consistent logged exercise history. The measure of the arterial stiffness of all the participants was collected. They then divided the participants into four groups based on the form of exercise. The four groups include Sedentary: those who exercise 2 to 3 exercise sessions, Casual exercisers: people who exercise 2 to 3 sessions per week, Committed exercisers: with 4-5 exercise sessions per week and finally Master exercisers: who dedicate 6-7 exercise sessions per week. Each exercise session lasted for about 30 minutes.
After analysis of the results, researchers found that casual exercisers possessed youthful and healthy mid-sized arteries that supply oxygenated blood to head and neck. The committed exercisers had more youthful central arteries that supply blood to abdomen and chest, in addition to healthy mid-sized arteries. The current research aids to design long-term exercise programmes to reverse the ageing heart and blood vessels. On the flip side, the research did not take into account dietary intake, social background, the intensity and duration or mode of the exercise. The researchers are now focussing on to find whether two years of training in middle-aged men and women with or without risk factors could reverse the ageing of heart and blood vessels.