No matter how you slice it, bad habits will catch up with you… That’s why I’m always telling you to eat and exercise like your life depends on it. Because, quite literally, it does.
But let’s assume for a minute that you haven’t taken this advice to heart—at least, not until now. And if you’re over 40, 50, or even 60, you might think the damage is done and it’s too late to turn things around.
Well, I’m here to tell you nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, new research shows that it only takes two years of committed exercise to completely turn your heart health around. Even if you’re middle aged. And even if you’ve been a lifelong couch potato.
It’s not too late to improve your health
A recent study looked at 61 sedentary but otherwise healthy subjects—all between the ages of 45 and 64 years old. Researchers randomly assigned them to a two-year exercise program, consisting of either supervised training or a yoga and balance regimen.
The first three months consisted of 30 to 45 minutes of moderate daily exercise, four to five days a week. These sessions increased in either duration or frequency each month after.
In the first escalated session, researchers added in aerobic interval training (four minutes of high-intensity activity, alternated with three minutes of recovery, and then repeated). High-intensity days were followed by light-activity recovery days.
Six months into the study, subjects were exercising five to six hours per week. Their routines consisted of two high-intensity interval sessions, at least one strength-training session, and at least 90 minutes of moderate intensity activity (where you break a sweat, but can still carry on a conversation).
And by 10 months, subjects started their maintenance phase—where the goal was simply to stay on track and keep things fresh by mixing up activities and exercise environments.
After two years, subjects in this study had increased their exercise capacity by nearly 20 percent. But more importantly, they reduced left ventricle stiffness, and ended up with a more elastic heart muscle—while control subjects saw no change in heart stiffness.1
Let me remind you that we’re talking about older subjects, some well into their 60s, who didn’t exercise at all before this study started. And yet, with just two years of committed training, they had the hearts of athletes. As a result, they dramatically lowered their risk of death from heart disease and all-cause mortality.
I can’t imagine a more extraordinary result from incorporating just one new healthy habit. But there you have it!
A virtual fountain of youth is at your fingertips.
Granted, the regimen in this research was fairly intense—but it goes to show that you can work your way up to just about any goal you want with focus, discipline, and commitment.
How great would it be if our healthcare system actually supported this kind of physical therapy instead of just handing out more drugs?
True, it’s not as easy as popping a pill. But exercise remains one of the most powerful medicines we have at our immediate disposal. And in warmer months like these, the world is your gym. There are countless opportunities for hiking, biking, tennis, kayaking, and every outdoor activity in between.
Get up, get out, and get moving!
The bottom line is this: Exercise beats relying on statin drugs any day of the week (while still delivering results that rival anything Big Pharma has to offer). Not to mention, it’s a whole lot easier than open heart surgery. And it makes you feel and look good too.
Of course, it’s not the only natural way to keep your heart healthy. For the past few months I’ve been working on a brand new heart health protocol—designed to walk you through my simple, actionable, integrative strategy for true (and lasting) cardiovascular health.
I’ll be releasing it this fall. And of course, you’ll be the first to know when it’s ready. Stay tuned to my daily e-letter, Reality Health Check, or follow my Facebook page for all the latest updates.