Study Finds Less Strenuous Exercise Can Improve Heart Health
Many health professionals tell their patients they need to engage in moderate to heavy exercise to improve their cardiovascular health. However, a new study from the United Kingdom found that more leisure exercise can also be highly beneficial to heart health. The results of the study were published in one of the journals of the American Heart Association.
The study was coordinated by Mark Hamer, a professor of epidemiology and public health at University College in London. Hamer and his colleagues tracked more than 4,000 people who exercised to different levels of intensity.
The researchers assessed the impact various forms of exercise had on patients. They reviewed data from another study that was conducted in the early 1990s. Researchers in those studies used two different inflammation markers to draw their conclusions. The study was conducted over the course of 10 years.
Hamer and his team found that patients who participated in leisurely forms of exercise had considerably lower levels of inflammation at the end of the study than those who didn’t exercise at all.
Hamer said that leisurely forms of exercise can be just as important for improving long-term health as running, cycling or swimming. The results of the study are especially important for older citizens. Hamer said that people should stay active as they get older to improve the long-term condition of their hearts.
Brisk walking and housework are activities many people participate in on a regular basis. However, many people don’t regularly partake in any form of physical activity on a regular basis. They may be more likely to participate in leisurely forms of exercise if they realized the health benefits they carried.
While conducting their research, Hamer and his team made a surprising and very accidental discovery. They found that people tend to become more physically active as they age. Overall, only 50% of the patients in the study exercised regularly. However, nearly six out of seven of retired adults were physically active. Many people tend to partake in more active hobbies as they get older, such as gardening. These hobbies could encourage them to exercise more regularly as well.
Additional studies will be needed to confirm Hamer’s findings. However, the study’s findings are encouraging to many people who struggle to find the time to exercise regularly. The findings also offer hope to people who have suffered injuries the prevent them from working out on a regular basis.
Researchers in Canada or the United States may try to replicate Hamer’s study in the future.