For the British Regional Heart Study, the researchers analysed data of nearly 8,000 men for the last 40 years in order to see how their habits affect their health. According to this research, people are starting to become less active after they reach the age of 50. However, people who are staying physically fit and active after this age have less risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases. There are as well factors such as stopping smoking, eating a healthy diet and avoiding obesity that help keep your heart healthy.
But why exactly is it so important to keep moving? For older people, even light activity, such as daily walking, can have health benefits. A 2013 study led by a researcher Dr Barbara Jefferis showed that walking for more than four hours per week, even at a slow pace, reduces risk of stroke in men aged 60–80. Light activity can also help maintain your muscles and even brain function.
Moreover, eating Mediterranean-style diet can help your health as well, because it helps you to avoid obesity. Simply eating more vegetables, eating less red meat and eating more fish are hiving big impact on your health. “We’re talking about a 50 % increase in death rates if you have an unhealthy diet compared with people who have a Mediterranean-style diet,” says Professor Wannamethee.
Finally, improving quality of life in your later years is very important. “What we’re seeing now is if you’re frail, you’re more likely to develop a heart or circulatory condition, and once you’ve had a heart attack, stroke or related condition, you’re more likely to become frail,” Professor Wannamethee says. “Lifestyle factors feed into both of them.”