As per researchers, proper exercise may reverse heart ageing and may also help to prevent heart failure in future. One can actually protect their heart from the risk of any cardio-vascular disease or damage by giving up sedentary lifestyle.
"Based on a series of studies performed by our team over the past five years, this 'dose' of exercise has become my prescription for life," said Benjamin Levine, lead author of the study and Director of the Institute and Professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre.
More about the study on how proper exercise may reverse heart ageing and prevent heart failure:
1. To reap the most benefit, the exercise regimen should begin by late middle age (before age 65), when the heart apparently retains some plasticity and the ability to remodel itself.
2. In an earlier study, researchers found that exercise needs to be performed four to five times a week.
3. The study was published in the journal Circulation.
4. For this study, the participants were divided into two different groups, one of which received two years of supervised exercise training, while the other group, a control group, participated in yoga and balance training.
5. The regimen included exercising four to five times a week, generally in 30-minute sessions, plus warm-up and cool-down sessions.
6. At the end of the two-year study, those who had exercised showed an 18 per cent improvement in their maximum oxygen intake during exercise and a more than 25 per cent improvement in compliance or elasticity of the left ventricular muscle of the heart.
7. Sedentary ageing can lead to a stiffening of the muscle in the heart's left ventricle, the chamber that pumps oxygen-rich blood back out to the body.
"When the muscle stiffens, you get high pressure and the heart chamber doesn't fill as well with blood. In its most severe form, blood can back up into the lungs. That's when heart failure develops," the researcher explained.
Here is a list of heart-healthy foods:
1. Avocado: Avocado is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are also known as the healthy fats. It is a cholesterol-free source of fat and can be used in place of mayonnaise.
2. Blueberries: Blueberries contain specific antioxidants, which help in lowering our blood pressure as well as preventing free radical damage.
3. Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate contains antioxidants - particularly procyanindins. Consuming a moderate amount of dark chocolate can help in reducing the amount of cholesterol our body absorbs.
4. Flaxseed: Flaxseed is rich in omega-3 and contains lots of fibre. Our body needs more omega-3 than omega-5 for a healthy heart.
5. Garlic: Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which can lower your cholesterol levels.
6. Nuts: Almonds and walnuts can keep your heart healthy by lowering bad cholesterol levels as well as keeping the blood sugar under control. These nuts can keep you fuller for a long time and also help you lose body fat.
7. Red wine: Red wine contains an antioxidant called resveratrol, which comes from the skin of grapes, and is linked to preventing heart diseases. Moderate consumption of red wine may reverse heart ageing and prevent heart failure.
8. Spinach: Spinach is loaded with beneficial nutrients. The fibres present in spinach lowers cholesterol levels, while the lutein present in spinach, keeps the arteries healthy.
One must be very aware of their food intake for a healthy heart. Proper exercise may reverse heart ageing and prevent heart failure if done at the right time. The mantra to a happy heart is the right food, proper exercise and enough rest. Follow this mantra and know how to keep heart healthy.
With IANS Inputs