If you're wondering whether you're now paying the price of a sedentary youth, you'll be glad to learn that there are things you can do in your 50's and 60's to improve your heart health, despite your old "couch potato" ways. Here are five exercise tips you can immediately benefit from:
1. Start an exercise program and work out 4 to 5 times per week. Activities can include regular yoga, balance training and weight-lifting workouts.
2. Include one or two high-intensity aerobics per week in your routine. These are exercises where you work out as much as possible for four minutes, and then spend three minutes in active recovery before hitting it again, four times in a row.
3. One day of long moderate-intensity exercise: At least an hour spent in some activity that raises the heart rate, be it square dancing, tennis, cycling or a brisk walk.
4. One or two days featuring 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise.
5. Two recovery days that follow interval training, consisting of 20 to 30 minutes of walking or light aerobic activity.
Combining this program with a healthy diet can help prevent heart disease, according to a recent study.
The study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, was published online Jan. 8 in the journal Circulation.