An award-winning* research paper from Italy has revealed some interesting insights into the impact of regular exercise on reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease among older people. The study, which followed more than 2,700 Italian men and women aged 65 and over for 20 years, found that regular physical activity was associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease and heart failure. Moreover, the results suggest that the earlier in life people start exercising, the better the outcome, with consistently lower rates of cardiovascular disease.

The study also found that the greatest benefit was with at least 20 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity, with walking, fishing and games such as bowls counting as moderate activity, and gardening, gym work, biking, dancing and swimming being classed as vigorous activity.

So, the key message? Keep exercising! We always recommend daily physical activity, but we know that sometimes life gets in the way. So it’s good to know that attending just one of our Cardiac Rehab Exercise Classes a week counts as 60 minutes – well on the way to this study’s recommended weekly target of 140 minutes. Aim for two classes a week and you’ll have 120 minutes in the bag!

You can read the full paper here.

* Winner of the BMJ Journals Heart Best Research Paper Award 2023 in recognition of its high quality and clinical impact.