The conversations of life

Under 65? Good news – you can reduce your heart risk right now


A new study says exercise can reverse the damage caused by age and a sedentary lifestyle, but it’s got to be started by late middle age – ideally before the age of 65.

Why? The researchers says this is the “sweet spot in life” – when the heart still has time to ‘remodel’ itself. You’ve also got to exercise four to five times a week – two or three is not enough.

Previous studies has proven that sedentary behaviours – such as sitting or lying down for long periods of time – increase the risk of heart disease.

65 proves the ‘sweet spot’

The two-year study divided a group of healthy participants aged 45 to 64 with no history of regular exercise into two groups – one which followed an aerobic exercise routine incorporating a mix of high- and moderate-intensity workouts and strength straining with weights and exercise machines; and a second that did yoga, balance training and weight training three times a week.

The result? The aerobic exercise group had an 18 per cent increase in their maximum oxygen intake during exercise and a more than 25 per cent improvement in the “elasticity” of the left ventricular muscle of the heart – both signs of a healthy heart. But the second group missed out on the benefits.

The take-home? Even if you’ve spent years sitting on the couch, there’s still time.

What are you waiting for?

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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