Small Lifestyle Change – Long Benefits
A short eight week change in eating and exercising habits produced benefits that were still being felt a year later, a UK study into Mediterranean diet and exercise has found.
It is thought the short time eating more salad, fish, legumes, whole grains, olive oil and fruit and vegetables, combined with moderate exercise produced molecular changes in blood circulation that were still giving health benefits a year later.
The changes improved the blood flow in cells in the inner lining of blood vessels, reducing the risk of cardio vascular disease.
For Healthy Over 50s
The study focused on healthy people over the age of 50. One group was encouraged to eat more vegetables, fruit, olive oil, tree nuts and fresh oily fish, as well as take up a moderate exercise regime, while the other just took up exercise alone.
The results showed more health improvements in the Mediterranean diet group than the exercise only group even though as year later the changes were not being closely followed.
Reducing Cardio Disease
Lead researcher Dr Markos Klonizakis, a Research Fellow at Sheffield Hallam University, said the study showed although exercise on its own can beneficial, other lifestyle factors such as nutrition play an important role as well.
“Considering the scientific evidence already out there that a Mediterranean diet offers health benefits, it made sense to examine how such a diet, when combined with exercise, could affect the small veins of our body due to their important role in our overall well-being, in the longer-term.”
Co-researcher Geoff Middleton, Senior Lecturer in the School of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Lincoln, says even a medium-duration intervention with a Mediterranean diet and exercise regime can promise long-term health benefits, especially in people at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
- Markos Klonizakis, Ahmad Alkhatib, Geoff Middleton.Long-term effects of an exercise and Mediterranean diet intervention in the vascular function of an older, healthy population. Microvascular Research, 2014; 95: 103 DOI:1016/j.mvr.2014.07.015