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Regular exercise is good for the heart, no matter your age

French sports scientists (University of Burgundy) have measured how regular exercise correlates positively for any person with with cardiovascular disease irrespective of a person’s age. Furthermore, the data shows how those who stand to benefit most greatly from cardiac rehabilitation are people who begin any exercise regime with the considerable physical impairment.

READ MORE: Better health effects by exercising before breakfast

This type of research signals that elderly people need to be a greater focus for fitness programs. This is because seniors, who are at a higher risk of complications following a cardiovascular event, are all to often underrepresented in rehabilitation programs. The study authors note this is due to a combination of lack of referral by medical specialists and an all-round lack of encouragement for the elderly to take part in cardiac rehabilitation fitness sessions.

ALSO READ: Is the virtual gym the solution to the rise in obesity?

According to lead reseacher, Dr. Gaëlle Deley: “Elderly patients are usually less fit than their younger counterparts, and deconditioning is accelerated once cardiovascular disease is established”, adding “however, there are few data about the impact of patient age on the physical and psychological effectiveness of cardiac rehabilitation.”

The positive benefits of exercise were taken from a study population who formed part of the Cardiac Rehabilitation at the Clinique Les Rosiers, Dijon, France. The cohort was made up of 733 patients who were required to complete a 25-session cardiac rehabilitation program. The study group were divided into those who were aged younger than 65 years; those aged between 65 and 80 years old; and people who were 80 years or older. Patients of all ages were found to have improved heart health from completing a regular exercise regime (with ‘regular’ being several times a wee ).

The new study is published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology. The research paper is tilted “Physical and Psychological Effectiveness of Cardiac Rehabilitation: Age Is Not a Limiting Factor!”

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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