It is never too late to start exercising according to a new study, which shows that moderate activity in middle age can protect the heart.
Even gardening can count towards levels of moderate activity
Researchers from University College London looked at over 4,000 people in the UK. Every participant recorded how much exercise they did over a 10 year period.
Writing in the journal Circulation, researchers found that people who stuck to the recommended 2.5 hours of moderate activity a week consistently for a decade had the lowest levels of inflammatory markers.
High levels of inflammatory markers have been linked to increased heart risk.
However, even those who only started doing the recommended amount of exercise in their 40s had lower inflammatory levels than those who never did any exercise. Dr Mark Hamer, of University College London, who led the research, said:
"We should be encouraging more people to get active - for example, walking instead of taking the bus. You can gain health benefits from moderate activity at any time in your life."
The link was found even when taking into account other factors like obesity and smoking. Experts say that tasks like gardening and brisk walks count towards moderate activity.
Maureen Talbot of the British Heart Foundation, said: "Donning your gardening gloves or picking up a paint brush can still go a long way to help look after your heart health, as exercise can have a big impact on how well your heart ages.”
According to a recent report published in the Lancet, inactivity was responsible for around 5.3 million of the 57 million deaths that occurred worldwide in 2008.
The report also revealed that Britain has one of the most sedentary populations on earth. In the UK, 63.3 per cent of the population fails to meet recommended levels of physical activity.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012