A recent study by a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, found that exercise can slow muscle wasting, boost strength and reduce inflammation caused by aging and heart failure.
The study included 60 heart failure patients and 60 healthy people who did either four weeks of supervised aerobic training or no exercise. Half of the participants were 55 and younger and half were 65 and older.
The exercise group undertook four 20-minute training sessions per day, five days a week. They also did one 60-minute group exercise session that focused on muscle endurance and oxygen uptake (a measure of aerobic endurance).
Among heart failure patients who exercised, those aged 55 and younger increased their peak oxygen uptake by 25 percent and those aged 65 and older increased it by 27 percent.
The finding resonate with Jennifer Jackson, MD, medical director of Via Christi Heart Failure Disease Managment Program.
“Not only is exercise important to improve functional capacity such as endurance, we know that exercise is a key to maintain independent living and prevent depression, especially in a person with chronic diseases such as heart failure,” Jackson said.
“Improvements can be seen quickly and with just a small amount of activity. Exercise can be some of the “best medicine” we have to offer patients.”