Regular exercise is good for the heart, which is why leading experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day (5X weekly) to help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. However, many older adults fall short of this goal because of arthritis or other ailments that may limit their movement—but according to one study even small doses of physical activity can have significant benefits.
Researchers from the University of Florida Institute on Aging recently tracked nearly 1,200 70- and 80-year-olds with limited mobility and discovered that even when the majority of the day was spent sitting, adding a few hours of light movement was associated with notable heart benefits, specifically a reduced the risk of heart attack in the following years.
Even if it was just moving around the house doing simple chores or walking slowly, such activity reduced the amount of time that seniors spent sitting down and, in turn, had a positive impact on cardiovascular health. Previous studies have found that a sedentary lifestyle—even more than obesity—can be detrimental to heart health and result in a shorter life expectancy.