A team that conducted research on the heart benefits of healthy exercise found that a lifelong commitment to physical fitness can preserve heart muscle equal to or even exceeding those of younger, healthy people who do not exercise. These findings highlight the importance of maintaining regular physical activity throughout life, and shows multiple beneficial effects on the heart and blood vessels from regular exercise.
As people age, their hearts naturally lose mass and elasticity, which puts older people at higher risk of heart failure. But MRIs showed that elderly people who exercised consistently in their lifetimes defied that trend. Those who exercised four to five times a week were able to maintain their youthful heart mass, and those who exercised six to seven times a week also promoted new mass which surpassed levels in young people who did not exercise.