August 14, 2012
Fit over-fifties lower heart disease odds
87 year old Jack Oldman, has kept active long into retirement and now plays table tennis through the BHF Hearty Lives Hull project.
A study funded by us at University College
London (UCL) has discovered that a moderate increase in exercise in
your fifties can make big improvements on your heart health.
In the study, over 4,000 people in the
transition to retirement were quizzed on their exercise routines
and had their levels of inflammation – which can lead to
‘furring’ of the arteries and heart disease in later life
– measured to gauge their heart health.
Never too late
Excitingly, the UCL researchers found inflammation was lower in
people who embrace an active lifestyle in their fifties, than
people who carry on being couch potatoes.
I play at my club twice a week and still compete in my local league. If I couldn’t play sport I don’t know what I‘d do.
This is great news for
retirees who often indulge in gardening, countryside walks and
gentle sports once they are no longer chained to their desks.
In the study a remarkable 83 per cent of people around retirement
age managed the recommended 2.5 hours a week of moderate physical
Young at heart
87 year old Jack Oldman, has kept active long
into retirement and now plays table tennis through the BHF Hearty Lives Hull project. He said:
“I play at my club twice a week and still
compete in my local league. If I couldn’t play sport I don’t know
what I‘d do.
“The worst thing you could do when you retire
is to sit down and watch telly all day. I keep busy with sports and
my vegetable patch and it seems to be keeping me going well –
doctors have told me I’ve got a great heart for my age.”
Our Senior Cardiac Nurse Maureen Talbot
“Donning your gardening gloves, or picking up
a paint brush, can still go a long way to help look after
your heart health, as even gentle exercise can have a big impact on
how well your heart ages.
“This research highlights the positive impact
changing your exercise habits can have on the future of your heart
health – and that it’s never too late to re-energise your life.
However it’s important not to wait until you retire to get off the
couch, as being active for life is a great way to keep your heart
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The research is published in the journal