Recent research shows that people who get fit in middle age get the same heart health benefits that younger people do. People in their 40s and 50s can reduce the risk of heart failure as much as younger individuals through exercise and improving physical fitness. The positive health impacts are clear for people who improve their fitness in middle age, says an article on the study:
Using a treadmill test to measure what are called “metabolic equivalents,” the researchers found the risk for heart failure dropped 20 percent for each improvement in metabolic equivalents.
1 in 5 people will suffer heart failure — when the heart can’t pump enough blood for the body to use. Most individuals diagnosed with heart failure die within five years. Sobering facts. The good news is, it’s not too late to improve your personal chances.
If you’re trying to start a fitness program but are unsure where to begin, start with small steps to get your body accustomed to exercise comfortably. All you really need is a pair of sneakers! One great thing to do is take a walk everyday, which actually improves your heart health better than running for those who are new to exercise, says the American Heart Association. Walking for just 30 minutes a day to get started can have a vast improvement on your health and help trim your waistline. If you’re looking for help to get started, the American Heart Association has a walk tracking resource to help you stay on track and even an app to help you find a nice walking route near you.
To get the most benefit from your walk, make sure to walk briskly and use your arms when walking. If you’re unsure that you’re walking enough, you can invest in a pedometer, which are often well under $15. Aim for 3,000 steps per day when you’re starting out and work up to 5,000 steps after 3,000 become easy for you to accomplish every day.
Of course, you should always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise routine, to make sure it’s right for you. But this news should be enough to inspire you to get off the sofa and make exercise a priority — at any age.