"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Gradually move towards cardiovascular aging.

Keep your heart strong and young by giving it , regular workout.

Photo: © Johnny Gregg/Getty Images

Your heart, like all other muscle, can weaken over time, especially in case you are sedentary. As you age and turn into less energetic, the muscles in your heart's left ventricle — the chamber that pumps oxygen-rich blood back to the body — tighten.

Cardio Strength

But like your other muscles, it's possible to strengthen your heart and even reverse a few of its aging effects. Solution: Regular cardio exercise. “Research shows that exercise is the best way to slow the aging process of your heart,” says Dr. Bagesh.

This shouldn't be surprising, as increased exercise and physical activity is commonly the primary prescription for improving overall heart health. So how does exercise help the aging heart?

When you exercise, exertion forces your heart to pump more blood around your body to your muscles and lungs. This whole process over time relaxes the blood vessels and allows your heart to pump more efficiently, each of which keep your blood pressure down.

The right exercise

The standard advice for fitness is 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. But does the form of exercise matter relating to your heart?

Yes and no.

“Any form of aerobics is always better than nothing,” says Dr. Bagesh. “Your heart doesn't know the difference between a brisk walk and an elliptical trainer. After that, the goal is to do some form of cardiovascular exercise—anything that gets your heart pumping and making you sweat.”

Still, for an aging heart, maximizing your exercise efforts with the goal of improving intensity and duration matter. A study, published on January 8, 2018. circulationfound that exercise can reverse damage to sedentary aging hearts — if it's enough exercise.

In this study, researchers recruited 53 people between the ages of 45 and 64 and divided them into two groups. One group followed a set of exercise programs that varied in frequency, duration, and intensity. Another group did non-cardio activities, reminiscent of yoga.

Exercise sessions included three levels of intensity:

  • Intervals, wherein you exercise at 95% of your maximum heart rate for 4 minutes followed by three minutes of recovery, repeat the pattern 4 times.

  • Exercising at a moderate intensity, wherein you sweat but can still communicate.

  • Recreational activities, reminiscent of playing tennis, power walking, or cycling.

Researchers found that individuals who exercised for 4 to 5 30-minute sessions per week had higher VO2 max (the utmost amount of oxygen your body can use during exercise) than a control group. There was a rise of 18%. Those within the exercise group also showed a mean 25 percent improvement within the elasticity of the center's left ventricle.

“Significant improvements in VO2 max are very important, as improved VO2 max is a well-established marker of longevity and physical fitness,” says Dr. Bagesh.

What is one of the best weight-reduction plan for the center? There are a couple of.

Which is best on your heart: Mediterranean weight-reduction plan or lacto-ovo vegetarian weight-reduction plan? Results of a study published online February 26, 2018, by circulation found that overall, each were equally effective.

The Mediterranean weight-reduction plan has long been a model of a heart-healthy weight-reduction plan, because it emphasizes a high intake of vegatables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. Moderate intake of fish and poultry; and healthy oils reminiscent of olive oil, while limiting pork. A lacto-ovo vegetarian weight-reduction plan excludes all meat, but does include eggs and milk.

Researchers divided 107 obese individuals with low to moderate heart disease risk into two groups: one followed a low-calorie Mediterranean weight-reduction plan, and the opposite, a low-calorie lacto-ovo weight-reduction plan. After three months, they modified the weight-reduction plan.

The results showed that on either weight-reduction plan, people lost about 3 kilos of body fat. The Mediterranean weight-reduction plan was simpler in lowering triglycerides. But the lacto-ovo weight-reduction plan was higher at lowering LDL (bad) levels of cholesterol, high levels of that are strongly related to heart attack risk.

The researchers' take-home message: Both diets are helpful, as they promote a proven heart-healthy weight-reduction plan and limit or eliminate added sugar, saturated fat, and added sodium, all of that are risk aspects for heart disease. are related to greater risk.

It's never too late

Even in case you've been sedentary for years, it's never too late to assist your heart, in response to a February 2015 study. Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging.

Researchers enrolled 45 male recreational runners, average age 50, in an 18-week training program. Men ran between 25 and 35 miles per week. The aim was to see if moderate exercise can alter cardiac structure and performance in an aging population.

Then, the test showed that the training program improved the general heart function of all of the runners, including increasing the scale of the left ventricle of their hearts. It also improved VO2 max by 4% and reduced blood pressure, especially in less experienced runners.

“In this case, the level of running was roughly the same exercise load as recommended by physical activity guidelines,” says Dr. Bagesh. “This shows that you can easily achieve the level of exercise needed for powerful therapeutic benefits.” So, do your aging heart a favor and move on.