The Miracle Anti-Aging Treatment

Spanish researchers found that regular physical activity slows cardiovascular aging, in a study published in Atherosclerosis in late January 2014.  As we age, we naturally develop certain health risks, such as arterial stiffness and changes in certain circadian patterns.  Researchers in the lab of Gómez-Marcos found that the amount of exercise you perform can directly influence cardiovascular aging.

Previous research shows that aerobic exercise is associated with a reduction in atherosclerosis progression, which is the thickening of artery walls due to accumulated calcium and fatty materials. Gómez-Marcos and his lab examined how differing amounts and intensities of exercise affected cardiovascular aging in individuals who did not yet have arteriosclerotic disease.

This figure shows the process of Atherosclerosis, which is a form of Arteriosclerosis. Figure (a) shows a schematic of a normal artery contrasted with an artery that has plaque accumulation. Figure (b) depicts plaque buildup in a real artery.

The study tracked individuals who were 20 to 80 years old and living in Spain.  The heart age of each participant was measured using criteria including age, sex, cholesterol, smoking, and a history of diabetes.  In addition, each participant was rated on the ambulatory arterial stiffness index, which predicts cardiovascular risk.  The researchers analyzed this information alongside each individual’s level of physical activity, obtained by an accelerometer.

The results showed that people who did more physical activity had a lower cardiovascular risk.  Not only did increased physical activity correlate with decreased markers of cardiovascular aging, but also more sedentary time was associated with increased heart age.

Gómez-Marcos and his research team did a medium-sized sample of the population, including 1365 participants, making it the largest study to date that has been done on the influence of physical activity on cardiovascular aging.  Their results prove that exercise could be used as a preventative measure against cardiovascular disease.

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García-Ortiz, L., Recio-Rodríguez, J.I., Schmidt-Trucksäss, A., Puigdomenech-Puigc, E., Martínez-Vizcaíno, V., Fernández-Alonsoe, C., Rubio-Galanf, J., Agudo-Condea, C., Patino-Alonsoa, M.C., Rodríguez-Sánchez, E., & Gómez-Marcos, M.A. (2014). Relationship between objectively measured physical activity and cardiovascular aging in the general population -The EVIDENT trial. Atherosclerosis, 233 (2). Retrieved from

About Lydia Marks