Senior citizens must exercise more, not less, in order to prevent a heart attack or stroke, according to a recent study.
PHD student, Kyuwoong Kim, conducted the study of more than 1 million people aged 60 and over.
The study found senior citizens who who classed themselves as ‘inactive’ were at a 27% increased risk of heart and blood vessel related problems.
However, over 60s who regularly worked out reduced their risk of developing a cardiovascular disease by 11%. Even people who go from a very inactive lifestyle to moderately or vigorously active, can drastically reduce their risk of developing heat problems.
Exercise was also show to help elderly people with chronic conditions and disabilities, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol levels.
Kyuwoong Kim said: “While older adults find it difficult to engage in regular physical activity as they age, our research suggests that it is necessary to be more physically active for cardiovascular health, and this is also true for people with disabilities and chronic health conditions.”
The study also emphasised the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle if you want to keep your heart healthy; those in the study who were active at the first check and then became inactive had a 27% increased risk of developing cardiovascular problems.
The study also took socioeconomic factors, such as age, sex, and lifestyle behaviours, like smoking and alcohol consumption into consideration.
More women (78%) than men (66%) said they lead an inactive lifestyle.
Those with disabilities could also reduce their risk of developing heart problems with some excercise; people with disabilities who became more active three to four times a week reduced their risk of cardiovascular problems by 16%.
PHD student Kyuwoong Kim, who carried out to study organiser of the study said: “The most important message from this research is that older adults should increase or maintain their exercise frequency to prevent cardiovascular disease.”
It’s especially important to pay attention to the findings, as there’s expected to be more than 2 billion over 60s on the planet by 2050.
“We believe that community-based programmes [which] encourage physical activity among older adults should be promoted by governments.
“Also, from a clinical perspective, physicians should ‘prescribe’ physical activity along with other recommended medical treatments for people with a high risk of cardiovascular disease.”
This study was published by the European Heart Journal