Is Exercise Better Than Diet for Overweight Aging Parents?


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yoga-1434787_1280.jpgAs aging parents and other seniors know, it’s important to stay in good shape, and both exercise and an appropriate diet are excellent ways to achieve this goal. However, a new study shows that, of the two, exercise may be more important for aging parents who are overweight and seeking to improve cardiovascular health.

The Study

Entitled “Impact of physical activity on the association of overweight and obesity with cardiovascular disease: The Rotterdam Study,” the study was described in an article that appeared in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.  This study looked at more than 5300 people who were aged 55 or older at the time the study began. Participants were divided into six groups: high physical activity and normal weight; low physical activity and normal weight; high physical activity and overweight; low physical activity and overweight; high physical activity and obese; and low physical activity and obese. (Overweight and obese are defined by a person’s body mass index (BMI). Those who are overweight fall into the BMI category of 25-30 kg/m2, while those who are obese fall into the BMI category of greater than 30 kg/m2.)

The Results

During the next 15 years, the doctors recorded which patients experienced a cardiovascular disease incident. It was found that there was no greater risk of a cardiovascular incident among those who were overweight or obese who engaged in a high level of physical activity than those who were a normal weight and engaged in a high level of physical activity. But overweight participants with a low level of physical activity were 1.33 times more likely to have a cardiovascular event, and those who were obese with a low level of physical activity were 1.345 times more likely.

In other words, the results of this study indicate that exercising or being otherwise physically active seems to provide a greater cardioprotective benefit than losing weight would.

Ideally, of course, a person should be both a healthy weight and appropriately physically active. However, aging parents who have excess pounds might find it more beneficial to concentrate on upping their exercise time if they are worried about heart issues.

Of course, aging parents and other seniors should consult with a doctor first before making any changes to either their exercise routines or their diets.


Related Article
- newportnews.myhomecareblog.com

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