4 Ways Regular Exercise Keeps Your Heart Young

Your quality of life largely depends on your heart health. A healthy heart can allow you to live a long, disease-free life. An unhealthy heart, on the other hand, can make your life less enjoyable or even cause early death.

Frankly, some risk factors for heart disease are beyond your control, such as genetics, gender and age. However, there’s a lot you can do to keep your heart healthy.

Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve your heart health, but have you ever wondered how exercise keeps your heart young and healthy? These are some of the ways exercise keeps your heart young.

How Regular Exercise Keeps Your Heart Young and Healthy

1. Helps Regenerate Heart Muscle Cells

Did you know that heart muscle cells renew themselves? Unfortunately, they do this at a very slow rate. Researchers say heart muscle cells renew at the rate of one percent per year, and the renewal rate decreases as we age.

Luckily, you can boost heart regeneration through regular exercise, according to this animal study. In the study, researchers had two groups of mice. One group ran five kilometers a day while the other group remained sedentary. The results showed that the mice that ran regularly produced 4.5 times the amount of new heart muscle cells produced by the sedentary mice.

Of course, animal study results don’t always translate to humans, so take this with a grain of salt.

2. Keeps the Arteries in Your Heart Young

The arteries in your heart stiffen as you age. In fact, this is one of the reasons older people have a higher risk of heart disease.

Well, regular exercise can keep your arteries young. In this study involving participants over the age of 60, researchers found that exercising two to three times a week kept mid-sized arteries (which supply blood to the head and neck) young while exercising four to five times kept the larger and middle arteries youthful.

3. May Improve the Elasticity of Your Heart

Middle-aged men and women can improve the elasticity of their hearts, even when they’ve been living a sedentary lifestyle, according to research. In the study, researchers divided 61 men and women into two groups. One group received supervised, high intensity exercise training for two years while the other group did not exercise.

It’s worth noting that the participants had to exercise four to five times a week in order to improve heart elasticity. Two to three sessions a week were not enough to remodel the heart.

4. Lowers Blood Pressure

Your blood puts pressure on the walls of blood vessels every time your heart beats. A weak heart pumps blood with a lot of effort, which puts excess pressure on blood vessels, damaging them and increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease.

When you exercise regularly, your heart pumps blood with less effort. This consequently reduces the pressure in your blood vessels. Try these exercises for people with high blood pressure.

Image via Getty

52 comments

heather g
heather g2 months ago

Recommended, thanks

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Kathy K
Kathy K2 months ago

Thanks.

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silja s
silja salonen2 months ago

with gratitude

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Alexandra Richards
Alexandra R2 months ago

Thank you.

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Paulo R
Paulo R2 months ago

ty

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Jan S
Jan S2 months ago

thank you for sharing

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Morgan I
Morgan Idso2 months ago

Eating a healthy, vegan diet is also important to heart health.

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Ann B
Ann B2 months ago

heart health and weight and exercise are important

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Mike R
Mike R2 months ago

Thanks

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Leo C
Leo Custer2 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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