While many people will be using the start of the New Year to kick-start certain lifestyle changes in an attempt to become “healthier”, there are some who might think it’s too late based on their age.
However, a new study has revealed that it’s often not too late for many who want to improve their fitness. In fact, with exercise, even individuals who are into their late middle age can reduce or even reverse the risk of heart failure caused by years of sedentary living.
But there’s a slight catch – it requires at least two years of aerobic exercise four to five days a week.
According to the study, which was published in the journal Circulation, individuals aged 45-64 who followed an aerobic exercise routine for two years showed an 18% improvement in their maximum oxygen intake while exercising and a more than 25% improvement in "plasticity" in the left ventricular muscle of the heart, compared to their counterparts who didn’t follow such an exercise regime.
The take-home message of the research is that exercise needs to be part of a person’s daily routine, like teeth brushing.
Dr Richard Siow, vice-dean for the faculty of life sciences and medicine at King's College London, said: "I think that's a very important take-home message for those of us who may have a doom and gloom view there's nothing we can do about it. Yes there is, we can start by getting off the couch to have a more active lifestyle."