According to a recent study published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, keeping active is key to cardiovascular health and longevity in older adults, regardless of whether or not they exercise regularly.
Researchers from The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences and Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, used a cohort study of over 4,200 Stockholm residents aged 60 and over.
The study tracked participants’ cardiovascular health for around 12.5 years found that keeping active through gardening or DIY projects can cut the risk of heart attack or stroke by up to 30%.
At the beginning of the study, researchers conducted a health check on participants, which included information on lifestyle, such as diet, smoking and alcohol intake, and how physically active they were.
They were also asked to report how many, if any, formal exercise classes they had attended in the previous 12 months and how often in their daily lives they participated in physical activities, such as gardening, DIY, car maintenance and fruit picking.
The researchers say that these routine activities are as good as exercise, making them ideal for older people who do not often do that much formal exercise.