Reverse the Impacts of Years of Being Sedentary
Are you in that 45-65 age group and think that you can’t combat years of not exercising and being sedentary – so why try? A recent study has suggested that not only is “middle-age” a good time to start exercising, but it can also help reverse the negative impact of years of being inactive or sedentary.
Being Sedentary is the New Smoking – Start Exercising!
It has long been established that living a sedentary lifestyle can have adverse effects on cardiovascular function and increases the risk of heart disease. Additional studies have previously demonstrated that high levels of physical activity performed over a lifetime can offset these effects, and help preserve cardiovascular function to levels similarly found in healthy young adults.
This new study recruited a group of healthy, but sedentary middle-aged individuals to start exercising by participating in a two-year exercise training study. Each participant was prescribed an individualized exercise program, based on their fitness levels.
The amount of exercise prescribed was progressed gradually, beginning with three 30-minute sessions of moderate intensity exercise per week for the first two months. High intensity interval training (HIIT) was introduced into their routines for one session per week during the third month. Exercise frequency and intensity were progressively modified over the next six months until the subjects entered the ‘maintenance phase’ during the tenth month of the study. Two weekly strength training sessions were introduced during this phase to complement the endurance training.
The Results of Adding Exercise to Senendary, Middle-Aged Adults
After two years of training, cardiovascular health was significantly improved. Fitness increased by ~20%, and the cardiovascular age of participants decreased by 5-10 years on average. There was also a ~25% reduction in arterial stiffness observed. The exercise prescription used in this study closely reflected the current population-based physical activity recommendations of 150 minutes per week of physical activity set by the American Heart Association.
Furthermore, the results of this study demonstrate that exercising regularly can have a significant impact on your health and quality of life, no matter what age you are.
If you’re on the fence about starting an exercise program, know that there’s no better time to start exercising than today. If you don’t know how to get started, consider a Princeton Longevity Comprehensive Exam to get a thorough health evaluation, same-day results and a plan to start incorporating fitness into your sedentary lifestyle.