A lot of the benefits of aerobic exercise such as Cross Fit aren’t visible and include reduction in oxidative stress and inflammation. Evidence suggests regular exercise also makes our bodies more resilient, and protects against existing risk factors for cardiovascular disease, meaning it’s never too late to start exercising.
Heart disease is more common as we age. Large arteries, such as the aorta or carotid arteries, lose their elasticity and become stiff. Problems start to occur with the functionality of the endothelial layer – the inner lining of blood vessels –that eventually leads to arterial disease.
For the past two decades, researchers from the Department of Integrative Physiology have been studying the effects of regular aerobic exercise and other healthy lifestyle factors. Some examples of this are cross fit, running and swimming.
Previously, it was thought that the heart disease-preventing effects of aerobic exercise were solely due to its improvement of traditional risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose and body fat. However, through their studies, Santos-Parker and colleagues have found exercise also reduces arterial stiffness and restores endothelial function by improving protein structure within the blood vessel wall, reducing oxidative stress and dampening down inflammation. In addition, exercise appears to reverse or provide some resistance against the harmful effects of existing risk factors as well. In effect, making our bodies stronger and more resilient.
Encouraging results have been reported following recent research that investigated the effects certain nutraceuticals and targeted antioxidants have on blood vessel aging. These compounds also appear effective at preventing or reversing adverse vascular aging processes. Great news if you want to live to a good age!
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