Close X
Get more out of
by joining the site for free
Free 17-point plan to great health
Twice weekly e-news bulletins
Access to our News, Forums and Blogs
Sign up for free and claim your
17-point plan to great health
Free 17-point plan to great health

Twice weekly e-news bulletins

Access to our News, Forums and Blogs

If you want to read our in-depth research articles or
have our amazing magazine delivered to your home
each month, then you have to pay.

Click here if you're interested
Helping you make better health choices

In shops now or delivered to your home from only £3.50 an issue!


Starting exercise in your mid-fifties still reduces heart attack risk
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Even couch potatoes who take up exercise for the first time in middle-age can still reduce—and even reverse—their chances of suffering a heart attack or heart failure. People who begin to exercise in their mid-50s can rejuvenate their heart, and make it more efficient and healthy, say researchers.

But it takes around two years of regular intense exercise to reverse the bad effects of a sedentary life, say researchers from the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine in Dallas, Texas.

"The key to a healthier heart in middle age is the right dose of exercise at the right time in life. We found what we believe to be the optimal dose of the right kind of exercise, which is four to five times a week, and the 'sweet spot' in time, when the heart risk from a lifetime of sedentary behaviour can be improved," said study leader Dr Benjamin Levine.

That sweet spot is around the age of 53, the researchers discovered, after they monitored the hearts of a group of 61 middle-aged healthy, but sedentary, people. Half started regular exercise, while the rest carried on with their normal lives.

The exercise group's introduction to a more active life was gradual, beginning with three 30-minute spells of moderate exercise every week for the first three months before embarking on one session a week of high-intensity aerobic exercise, and two to three days of moderate exercise, where the person sweats but can still hold a conversation.

At the end of the two years, the hearts of the exercise group had an 18 per cent improved capacity for oxygen intake, and a 25 per cent increase in the flexibility or 'plasticity' in the left ventricular muscle of the heart, both key markers of a healthy heart.


(Source: Circulation, 2018; CIRCULATIONAHA.117.030617)

You may also be interested in...

Latest Tweet


Since 1989, WDDTY has provided thousands of resources on how to beat asthma, arthritis, depression and many other chronic conditions.

Start by looking in our fully searchable database, active and friendly community forums and the latest health news.

Positive SSL Wildcard

Facebook Twitter

Most Popular Health Website of the Year 2014

© 2010 - 2017 WDDTY Publishing Ltd.
All Rights Reserved