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Study shows how physical activity benefits seniors' hearts

In case you need more evidence on the benefits of exercise, here’s some: A new Stanford study shows that physical activity leads to an improvement in the heart arteries’ ability to dilate — a measurement of artery health — in older adults. The study involved men and women between the ages of 60 and 72 doing typical physical activities, such as walking for one hour, and the benefits were found equally in both genders. From our release:

“My patients ask me, ‘How do we really know that exercise is benefiting my heart arteries?’” said senior author Michael McConnell, MD, associate professor of cardiovascular medicine and director of the Preventive Cardiology Clinic at Stanford. “Now we can say that we’ve looked directly at their arteries and shown that the more physically active subjects, even in their 60s, see measurable benefits.”

The work appears online today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging.

Photo by Ernst Vikne

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