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You do not have to be a super athlete to stay healthy until old age: over a period of more than twelve years, Swedish researchers recorded and statistically evaluated the movement behavior of 4,232 people over the age of 60 years. The result: 20 minutes of exercise per day is enough to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 27 percent - and you do not need a sophisticated training program. Day-to-day activities such as gardening, car washing or gathering berries or mushrooms in the forest are enough to keep the cardiovascular system going.
Exercise is crucial for a healthy heart
The waist circumference and blood lipid levels - two important heart health indicators - were lower in subjects with daily exercise than in sofa surfers. Diabetes also affected active people less often. The group, which did regular exercise but did not move much in everyday life, had a similar risk profile. By almost 33 percent as low as the average was the risk of heart disease of people who moved a lot in everyday life as well as exercising regularly.
As expected, the combination of prolonged sitting and less exercise proved unfavorable: these people showed the highest susceptibility to heart attacks and strokes.
The connections are not yet deciphered, but the scientists speculate that a certain energy expenditure per day is necessary to keep the metabolic processes in the body functioning well into old age. They are kept down to a minimum during inactivity. In addition, regular contractions of the muscles seem to play a major role.
Gardening keeps older people fit and healthy
Gardening makes you happy
A cardiologist team from Japan came to similarly interesting results in 2011. It examined 111 patients who were suspected to have coronary heart disease. All had a similar risk profile, but 82 of them gardened regularly, while 29 proved to be gardeners. The surprising: The coronary vessels of the gardeners were mostly in much better condition than those of non-gardeners. Not only did the physicians see the health value of gardening in physical activity, but they also emphasized that it calms the nervous system, reduces stress, and creates moments of happiness. This also has a very positive effect on the cardiovascular system.