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Exercise Column

Exercise increases Nitric Oxide which decreases hypertension, clotting, stroke and heart disease.

New research findings on Nitric Oxide levels in elderly women support the beneficial effects of exercise for hypertension prevention.

Exercise counterbalances and slows the effects of aging by increasing Nitric Oxide (NO).

Mild aerobic exercise now appears to increase nitric oxide (NO) levels that normally drop, as you get older. Yet another benefit of exercise.

Nitric oxide? Sounds like something used in the space shuttle to get to the moon?

Nitric oxide is a potent vasodilator substance produced by the endothelial cells that line the walls of blood vessels. Vascular endothelial cells play an important role in the regulation of blood vessel activity by producing chemicals that act within the region. One of the most potent vasoactive substances nitric oxide has proven to have strong protective effects against hypertension, clotting, stroke, and heart disease.

A recent study published in Hypertension Research found significant increases in the levels of NO production in previously untrained older women who underwent a 3-month aerobic training program. The women ages 59 to 69, with no previous exercise experience, trained for 30 minutes a day, five days per week on stationary bicycles at a mild exercise intensity. Their NO levels increased to a point which would have beneficial effects on their cardiovascular systems and disease risk.

This research provides great support for the significant benefit of exercise for health promotion in previously sedentary older adults. While nitric oxide activity decreases with age, this decrease can be stopped and overcome with one simple answer: exercise.

Written by Dr.Eric Sternlicht for on 11.02.05