Are you like many middle-aged and elderly people who don’t enjoy running, jumping, or other forms of high-impact exercise because your joints just don’t feel up to it?
Then a new study published in the journal Frontiers Physiology offers great news for you.
It shows that specific and easy types of exercise prevent cardiovascular disease just as well as gym workouts.
Researchers from Sheffield Hallam University noted that some previous studies had found that swimming, aqua-aerobics, and other water exercises were effective for improving fitness, mobility, walking gait, balance, and peripheral arterial health. They also noticed a paucity of research into how these exercise types may prevent cardiovascular disease.
These researchers recruited 80 participants older than 55 years, none of whom had high blood pressure, diabetes, or other pre-existing conditions.
They excluded those who participated in high-intensity exercise, which is difficult to perform in water, to enable a proper comparison between the water and gym groups.
For six months, all participants exercised four times a week on average, performing either water exercises, gym sessions, or a combination of the two.
They also obtained medical records for people who did not exercise at all to serve as a comparison group for the participants.
To assess the participants’ heart health, the researchers used endothelium health, a common measure of heart health. The endothelium forms the inner lining of blood vessels. In this study, the researchers tested the efficiency of the endothelium in both small veins and large arteries.
Unsurprisingly, they discovered that all three exercise groups had better endothelium health than the inactive group. More importantly, there was no difference in endothelium health between the three exercise groups: the water group, the gym group, and the combined group.
This is great news for middle-aged and elderly people, as they now have a way to exercise without hurting their joints.
Elderly people are often especially reluctant to exercise because they are afraid of falls or other injuries. But it is precisely at this age that they need exercise the most.
The researchers speculate that water exercise is just as effective as gym workouts because, like other types of exercise, it promotes the production of nitric oxide. In turn, this enhances the effectiveness of arteries and veins in circulating blood throughout the body.
And if you have high blood pressure, discover three easy exercises (that have nothing to do with water) that will drop your blood pressure below 120/80, starting today…