How to have a healthy heart (even if you are mobility limited…)

FACT: Adults over 60 years old should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week.

While the above might be a relatively straight forward expectation of adults that have no mobility issues and  are of reasonable health, a person that has limited mobility may find even the half the amount of this exercise a struggle.

The good news however is that even the shortest amount of movement let alone exercise could be of benefit.

Researchers at the University of Florida Institute on Aging in the United States lead by Dr Buford have found that heart attack or coronary death increased by 1% for every 25-30 minutes that each participant spent sedentary.

Each of the participants wore an accelerometer, the component in your smart phone that measures steps etc. A reading of 99 counts a minute is deemed to be sedentary. A count of 100 to 499 indicated slow walking or performing house duties.

Among the participants without any existing heart disease, an accelerometer reading of between 100-499 counts per minute was associated with high levels of HDL cholesterol (the good one) which in turn reduces the LDL cholesterol associated with heart risks.

Buford adds “In the past, much of the emphasis was placed on engaging in structured physical exercise. It is becoming increasingly evident, however, that encouraging individuals to just reduce the amount of time they spend being sedentary may have important cardiovascular benefits.”

If getting outside for a walk isn’t desirable then a walking treadmill is a great way to keep moving. The best part about having a treadmill at home is that you can split up your exercise over the whole day.

Whiteman, Honor. “Every minute of activity may benefit heart health for mobility-limited older adults.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 19 Feb. 2015. Web. 20 Feb. 2015. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/289572.php>


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