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In honor of heart health month…

Exercise Makes Hearts Grow Younger

by Ryan Halvorson on Nov 01, 2008

Making News

Do you have clients who seek to stay forever young? Endurance exercise may reverse the effects of aging on the heart. A small study first published online in the American Journal of Physiology—Heart and Circulatory Physiology(June 20, 2008; 295, H842–50) followed 12 previously sedentary adults aged 60–75 for about a year. Participants exercised at about 65% of maximum capacity during the first 3 months and then increased output to 75%. Subjects’ heart metabolisms were measured before and after the exercise programs. Upon study completion, researchers discovered that subjects’ hearts doubled glucose uptake during high energy demands from walking, running or cycling. According to lead author Pablo F. Soto, MD, the same response is found in younger hearts.

Soto and his team also noticed that there was a gender divide with regard to fatty acid metabolism. According to the results, the fatty acid metabolism of the female subjects’ hearts increased during exercise, while the males experienced the opposite effect. “By that gauge, the women had a better response to exercise training than the men,” states Soto in a press release. Overall, the results are promising and Soto hopes the data will help provide an impetus for people to remain active throughout their lives.

To learn more about this and similar topics, please see the following IDEA articles:

  • “Slow Down Aging With Interval Training,” September 2008 IDEA Fitness Journal, p. 30.
  • “Yes, Resistance Training Can Reverse the Aging Process,” September 2008 IDEA Fitness Journal, p. 21.
  • “A Second Chance at Health,” October 2008 IDEA Fitness Journal, p. 47.

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