Score another point for regular exercise. The heart… arguably the most vital organ in your body, is preserved in the elderly by lifelong, consistent exercise according to some surprising new research focusing on exercise for heart health. What’s even more impressive, the heart mass can match (or exceed) those of younger, healthy sedentary adults.
It appears that being active, regularly over a lifetime, works to preserve the youthful elasticity of the heart in old age. Every decade you spend on the couch decreases your heart muscle mass, but for those who get up and get moving – 6 to 7 times every week through their adult life – not only hold onto heart mass, but build it up as well.
Lifelong exercisers ended up having a heart mass that was greater than healthy, but inactive, adults in the 25 to 34 age range.
It’s never too late to turn back the clock with exercise. Even if you were never an avid exerciser you can start now to make your heart younger! The heart being a flexible, pliable muscle the key is to work out consistently and intensely. Listen to this audio pod from NPR about how you can actually restore the youth of your aging heart!