Keep Moving! Heart Health Doesn’t Have to Mean Structured Exercise

12.19.2017

healthy senior couple

Are you a senior who feels guilty for not joining an exercise class or participating in a regular workout routine? A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine may put your mind at ease. According to researchers, simply moving more is the key to a longer, healthier life in old age. RediClinic, your source for health screenings including healthy heart checks, explains more.

Fewer Heart-Related Events, Longer Lives Among Active Seniors

Healthcare professionals have long understood that exercise is a major contributor to good health. However, many people find it challenging to participate in regular exercise sessions, particularly as they age and become less physically active. Swedish researchers wanted to find out how non-exercise physical activity – the exercise performed during daily life, such as gardening or working on a car – impacted cardiovascular health and longevity in seniors.

To evaluate non-exercise physical activity, the researchers studied more than 4,800 men and women over age 60 living in Stockholm, Sweden. Participants began by completing a questionnaire about health history, lifestyle and daily activities, and medical tests and measurements were conducted. They were then followed for 12.5 years. At the end of the study period, results included:

  • Seniors who reported high levels of daily non-exercise activity suffered fewer heart-related events and were less likely to die than those who were the least active.
  • Study participants who were physically active had a smaller waist circumference and lower cholesterol levels.
  • Physically active men, in particular, had lower levels of insulin and blood sugar.
  • The occurrence of metabolic syndrome – a group of conditions that increase risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes – was significantly lower in those who were physically active.

Low-Intensity Activities to Get You Moving

Results of this study add to ample evidence suggesting that just a sedentary lifestyle is actively harmful to one’s health. For seniors, spending more time doing low-intensity activities on a daily basis cuts down on sitting time and may help you live longer. Here are some ideas for everyday activities to help you get moving!

  • Home maintenance
  • Gardening
  • Lawn care
  • Car maintenance
  • Dancing
  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Walking a dog

Get Screened at RediClinic

Learn more about your overall health and well-being with comprehensive health screenings at RediClinic. Screenings are conducted by board-certified clinicians and available seven days a week. Make an online appointment to visit RediClinic today!