September 14, 2004 | David F. Coppedge

Bless Your Heart: Exercise for Senior Vitality

A study from UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas confirms what we all should know but need to be reminded of frequently: that prolonged, sustained exercise can build up the heart at any age, and provide insurance against heart failure.  The summary on EurekAlert warns, “a sedentary lifestyle, in addition to aging, puts older people at risk for heart failure, the leading cause of hospitalizations for patients over 65 and a condition that affects eight out of every 1,000 people older than 70.”  Dr. Benjamin Levine’s team found that the hearts of senior athletes (average age 68) were indistinguishable from those of healthy younger participants.  But it’s never too late to start: sedentary seniors who began cardiovascular training showed “dramatic” improvement in heart strength and flexibility after just a year.

It’s instructive that the promised land into which God led the Israelites, a country He called a good land, the holy land, is a land of hills and valleys.  To get anywhere in Israel in Bible times you had to go up and down a lot.  We can assume the Manufacturer knew that vigorous, aerobic activity is a necessary ingredient for health and happiness.  It’s still true today.  The difference is that now, with all our cushy travel conveniences, we have to make an effort to get out and walk.  Vigorous outdoor walking will do wonders not only for your heart, but for your spirit, attitude and sense of well-being.  Let our photo gallery inspire you to start today.  Click on the “meditations” set for a sample: put yourself in the picture and think of how it would bless your heart in more ways than one.

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Categories: Health

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