You know I love talking to you about the benefits of regular, consistent exercise. Because whether you’re looking to escape a diabetes, cancer, or Alzheimer’s diagnosis, it really is one of the simplest forms of disease prevention you have.
Of course, if you’re already struggling with health problems, it’s easy to think that the ship has sailed. Or in the case of issues like heart disease, that launching a new exercise program might be worthless… or even risky.
But that isn’t true. In fact, a recent study makes quick work of dispelling that myth once and for all…
Looking closer at coronary heart disease
This new research looked at more than 30,000 heart patients. And it shows that embracing an active lifestyle later in life is almost as beneficial as having been active your whole life.
This meta-analysis featured coronary heart disease patients from nine different studies—roughly one-third were women and the average age was 62.5 years. Researchers followed the patients for the better part of a decade.
They assessed activity levels both before and during the study, classifying the patients as either active or inactive according to standard recommendations (at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, weekly.)
Then, they divided the patients into four groups: those who were inactive over time, those who were active over time, those who increased their activity over time, and those who decreased their activity over time.
In the case of both increased and decreased activity, this meant that activity levels increased or dropped enough to move the patient into a new category—either active or inactive. And, well… it’s not hard to guess what happened from there.
A spectrum of benefit
The researchers looked at overall death risk (from any cause) and found:
- Patients who were active over time were 50 percent less likely to die of any cause than patients who stayed inactive.
- Patients who used to be inactive, but became active, were 45 percent less likely to die of any cause.
- Patients who used to be active but stopped exercising still enjoyed some benefit, including a 20 percent lower risk of death by any cause.
Researchers also looked at risk of heart disease death and found:
- Patients who remained active were 51 percent less likely to die than patients who stayed inactive.
- Patients who increased their activity saw their risk of heart disease death drop by 27 percent.
In other words, literally anyone can benefit from being active, at any time. Just because you’ve been a couch potato lately—or even most of your life—doesn’t necessarily mean it’s too late to change your fate.
So what are you waiting for? Get up and get moving. You have nothing to lose… and a new lease on life to gain. For some of my favorite exercise routines—and what they can do for your health—search the archives on my website. Not yet a subscriber? Become one today!
“It’s never too late to get active.” Science Daily, 08/24/2021. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/08/210824083239.htm)