Even a Little Exercise Helps

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"At 75, I’ve taken up exercise for the first time in my life. Well, it’s just walking for 20 minutes a couple of times a week, but it’s more exercise than I’ve ever done. My neighbor, who is six months younger, has been laughing at me. She says, 'At our age, what’s the good of doing that?' I enjoy it, though, and have so much more energy I’m thinking of looking for a part-time job!"

You just may have the last laugh on your neighbor. A study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation found that just a little exercise by older women is better than none, at least when it comes to lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke and blood clots.

Being active just a few times a week is all it takes. In fact, researchers were surprised to find that more frequent physical activity didn’t result in further reductions in risk.

The study revealed that:

  • Women who performed strenuous physical activity – enough to cause sweating or a faster heart beat – two to three times per week were about 20 percent less likely to develop heart disease, strokes or blood clots compared to participants who reported little or no activity.
  • Among active women, there was little evidence of further risk reductions with more frequent activity.
  • Physical activities associated with reduced risk included walking, gardening and cycling.

“To prevent heart disease, stroke and blood clots, our results suggest that women don’t need to do very frequent activity as this seems to provide little additional benefit above that from moderately frequent activity,” said Miranda Armstrong, M.Phil., Ph.D., the study’s lead author and a physical activity epidemiologist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

So here’s more power to you, your good health and new exercise program. Keep up the good work! Since you mentioned wanting a part-time job, why not consider a career as a caregiving companion. Your local Home Instead Senior Care® hires caring individuals – including many seniors themselves – for careers as CAREGiversSM providing in-home care and companionship services to other older adults. CAREGivers even participate in hobbies – like walking – with their clients. Call today to learn more.

For more information about your local Home Instead Senior Care® office, contact us at 419-472-8181 or go to HomeInstead.com/324. To learn more about this study, visit http://newsroom.heart.org/news/women-active-a-few-times-weekly-have-lower-risk-of-heart-disease-stroke-and-blood-clots?preview=6863http://newsroom.heart.org/news/women-active-a-few-times-weekly-have-lower-risk-of-heart-disease-stroke-and-blood-clots?preview=6863.  ​

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