It is well known that physical activity has many health benefits including improving cardiovascular health. A large prospective community-based study in older adults was conducted to explore aspects of modest physical activity and its correlations with lowering the risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in participants over the age of 75.
This study evaluated different aspects of physical activity such as increased walking pace and distance, and leisure activity. All of these aspects were associated with a decrease in CVD. Those that were more active experienced less heart attacks and stroke. More specifically, those that walked at a faster pace than three miles per hour had a lower risk for CVD, coronary heart disease (CHD), and stroke by 50%, 50%, and 53% respectively. Participants who walked more or the equivalent of seven blocks a day as oppose to five blocks a day were also at lower risk for stroke, CHD, and CVD by 54%, 36%, and 47% respectively. Finally, those that participated in leisure activities such as lawn-mowing, raking, gardening, swimming, biking, and hiking also saw lower risks for CHD, stroke and CVD when compared to participants who did not. These findings were found in both males and females.
These are important findings as it is rare that studies look at the effects of physical activity in participants over 75 years old. It seems that at any age, physical activity is a crucial party of a complete health approach.
Luisa Soares-Miranda, David S. Siscovick, Bruce M. Psaty, W.T. Longstreth, Dariush Mozaffarian. Physical Activity and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke in Older Adults: The Cardiovascular Health Study. Circulation, 2015; CIRCULATIONAHA.115.018323 DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.018323