Vigorous exercise might be unappealing or impractical for many postmenopausal women. Recent research shows great benefit from even light physical activity.
Two recent studies affirmed the benefit of light physical activity. Whether in their 50’s or 90’s, women lower their risk of heart disease by spending more time moving during the day than those who spent more time sitting or lying down. The more they moved, the less likely they were to develop heart failure than women who didn’t exercise at all. Even doing regular household chores like cleaning and gardening showed a benefit to heart health.
POSTMENOPAUSAL WOMEN WHO WALK REDUCE RISK OF HEART FAILURE
In a 2018 study, researchers found that participants with the highest activity levels were at 35 percent lower risk of heart failure. The study included nearly 140,000 postmenopausal women age 50 to 79. The most common type of activity reported was walking. Furthermore, women who engaged in at least some physical activity were at 11 percent lower risk than those who did not.
A 2019 study of 5,861 women age 63 to 99 tracked the frequency and intensity of movement. Participants wore a device called an accelerometer for one week. Women in the most active group who, on average, spent more than 5.6 hours a day on light activity were 42 percent less likely to experience a heart attack or die of heart disease than women who spent less than 3.9 hours a day doing something other than sitting or lying down.
In conclusion, older women are one of the fastest-growing populations in the country, and low intensity activity may be an enjoyable way to maintain a healthier way of life.
Since 1981, First Health Associates has been providing exceptional health care to residents of Arlington Heights, Mt. Prospect, Schaumburg, Buffalo Grove, Rolling Meadows, Palatine, Elk Grove and Des Plaines. First Health is an integrative medicine practice that offers: Medical Care; Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine; Counseling and Behavioral Therapy; and Chiropractic Care.
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