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Heart study shows the benefits of exercise

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Exercising in the midlife will help protect your heart, according to a study conducted by the University College London, funded by the British Heart Foundation.

Even if you don’t switch to exercise until the late 40s and 50s, benefits can still be had and it doesn’t need to be vigorous: gardening and brisk walks count, says the study, which followed 4,000 people over 10 years.

Lead researcher, Dr Mark Hamer, said: “We should be encouraging more people to get active, for example walking rather than taking the bus. You can gain health benefits from moderate activity at any time in your life.”

Those who did the recommended 2.5 hours of exercise a week had lower levels of inflammatory markers in their blood. High levels of inflammatory markers have been linked to increased heart risk.

People who said they consistently stuck to the recommended amount of exercise over the entire 10-year study had the lowest inflammatory levels overall.

Those who only started doing the recommended amount of exercise in their 40s also saw an improvement and had lower levels of inflammation than people who said they never do any exercise.

Maureen Talbot, of the British Heart Foundation, says exercise can have a big impact on how well your heart ages: “This research highlights the positive impact changing your exercise habits can have on the future of your heart health and that it’s never too late to reenergise your life. However, it’s important not to wait until you retire to get off the couch.”

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Exercising in the midlife will help protect your heart, according to a study conducted by the University College London, funded by the British Heart Foundation.
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