Regular aerobic exercise during midlife could mitigate chronic diseases and ailments as people age, according to scientists in a new study.
Physiologists in Texas and Japan offered strong indications in this study that improvements in blood pressure control and vascular elasticity may contribute to better cerebral blood flow regulation in middle-aged people.
“Our findings have an important clinical implication,” said co-researcher Takashi Tarumi, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tsukuba, Japan. “Regular aerobic exercise during midlife may prevent these age-related chronic diseases and extend a healthy lifespan.”
Exercise Now, Reduce Chronic Diseases Later in Life
A higher risk of stroke and dementia later in life, along with a greater risk of age-related chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease and diabetes, are linked to midlife arterial stiffness.
The study researched the potential health benefits of being active and improving age-related deteriorations of cerebral blood flow regulation, short-term blood pressure control and arterial elasticity (a noninvasive measure of cardiovascular risk).
The study was conducted in 20 middle-aged athletes (ages 45 to 64) with at least 10 years of aerobic training, 20 adults younger than 45 and 20 middle-aged sedentary adults.
Researchers defined regular aerobic exercise as running, cycling, swimming or multimodal training with moderate-to-vigorous intensity.
According to the study, middle-aged endurance athletes have better control of blood pressure and higher arterial elasticity than sedentary adults in the same age group. These athletes also displayed comparable levels of these factors compared to young adults, thanks to regular aerobic exercise.
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