“Eventually it happens to everyone. As we age, even if we're healthy the heart becomes less flexible, more stiff and just isn't as efficient in processing oxygen as it used to be.”
Fortunately, we can manage and may even reverse some of these changes that happen to our heart due to aging and inactivity.
In the study quoted in this article, 50 year olds, with exercise were able to turn their hearts back to that of a 30-35 year old.
The primary exercise method used to achieve this change was interval training. Interval training is characterized by doing short intensive bouts of exercise followed by rest.
I have personally benefited by doing interval training and use it regularly. Yet, while research supports the benefits of interval training, there is also a downside. It could be dangerous for an unhealthy heart.
A heart that can function normally at lower heart rates, may not be able to handle the additional strain and oxygen requirements, when pushed to higher levels of intensity.
If you do decide to try this type of training, confirm with your doctor that your heart is strong enough to be pushed to maximal, levels. Next, if you are given the go-ahead, start with exercising at a low to moderate intensity level, for 2-3 months and slowly let your entire body and heart adapt to the stresses of exercise.