Think you’re too old to start a worthwhile fitness regimen? Think again. Research shows that men and women aged 48 and up who make an effort to get fit can significantly reduce their risk of heart failure.
According to the results of a study funded by the American Heart Association, and presented at their recent 2013 Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions, improving fitness is an excellent way for middle-aged people to prevent heart failure in later life—which should go hand-in-hand with controlled blood pressure and improved diet and lifestyle, the study states. Researchers ranked the fitness levels of 9,050 people who averaged 48 years old, and who had undertaken two fitness tests eight years apart during their mid-life years.
After 18 years, researchers followed up by matching participants’ fitness data to Medicare claims for heart failure hospitalization. Those participants who were unfit at the start were shown to be at higher risk of heart failure after age 65. But those people who took time to improve their fitness levels reduced this risk compared to those who didn’t bother—and still had low fitness levels eight years later.