The secret to a healthy heart according to science (and it’s not running)

The secret to a healthy heart according to science (and it’s not running)

Gardening it’s healthy. One says so study published some time ago in the specialized magazine Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics which analyzed data on 146,000 US adults over the age of 65. In short, taking care of plants and flowers, but also of vegetables for self-consumption, can be one of the secrets of longevity by virtue of beneficial effects on the heart.

The participants were divided into three groups: the «gardeners» (elderly people who regularly gardened), «athletes» (those who engaged in other physical activities than gardening) and «not athletes» (sedentary individuals). The starting point is that ‘gardeners’ reported spending more time remaining physically active than ‘athletes’ and were able to meet the demands more frequently. 150 minutes of aerobic activity recommended every week only with gardening.

And here are the results: compared to sedentary individuals, gardeners reported significantly lower odds to develop cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart attack, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and even diabetes. And in terms of nutrition they were even more likely to satisfy theirs daily ration of fruit and vegetables, who knows maybe in many cases even feeding on what they cultivated. We know it, it’s not the first time gardening has been scrutinized as a source of health: in the past it was talked about for its positive impact also in terms of depression, anxiety and ability to reconcile the sleep.

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At the basis of these effects there is evidently the combination of physical activity and sun exposure (i.e. vitamin D) and nature is probably one of the main reasons gardening is good for the body. Vitamin D is in fact necessary to maintain a healthy heart, as it plays a key role in the regulation of blood pressure. It is no coincidence that i Centers for disease control and prevention consider light gardening and yard work a form of moderate physical activity. Even indoor gardening still produces its effects, especially for sleep and in some cases to slow down the onset of forms of senile dementia.

In short, the study – published a few months ago but made a comeback in recent days – concludes that among adults aged 65 and over, gardening is associated with better cardiovascular health, including lower odds of developing diabetes . However, further studies are needed to determine whether the promotion of gardening activities can be a strategy for reducing cardiovascular risk.

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Source: Vanity Fair