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Title:Dr. Benjamin Levine: How Exercise Prevents & Reverses Heart Aging

Everyone has to get old sometime, but what if, at least for some aspects of aging, we didn't have to? Imagine if the loss of heart size and the stiffness that often comes with aging could be reversed, even well into late middle-age. And not by a little - by a lot. Today's guest, Dr. Benjamin Levine, has shown that with the right exercise protocol, people who were sedentary most of their lives could reverse up to 20 years of heart aging. Dr. Levine is one of the world's leading experts in understanding how the heart adapts under a variety of conditions, whether that's exercise, elite athleticism, or hospital bedrest. Or even highly exotic conditions, like prolonged exposure to microgravity. He is the founding director of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine at UT Southwestern in Dallas, a leading facility renowned for its research in cardiovascular physiology. Get my free 13-Page Omega-3 Supplement Guide: EPISODE LINKS: Show notes and transcript: CHAPTERS: (00:01:31) Are 3 weeks of bed rest worse for fitness than 30 years of aging? (00:05:18) Why untrained individuals recover fitness faster than athletes following bed rest (00:06:49) Does exercise protect against long COVID? (00:09:41) "COVID triad testing" guidelines for evaluating heart health in athletes (00:11:27) Why strict bed rest is a model for space flight (00:12:24) How 12 weeks of bed rest affects heart size (00:13:52) Why a brand-new rubber band mimics a lifetime of endurance training (00:17:23) The exercise dose that preserves youthful cardiovascular structure (00:19:32) The exercise regimen that reversed 20 years of heart aging (00:23:14) What it takes to reverse vascular age by 15 years in 70-year-olds (00:28:38) Benefits of starting an exercise regimen in your 70s [benefits that don't involve cardiac remodeling] (00:34:26) Considering the risks of high-intensity exercise (00:37:51) Balancing high-intensity & moderate-intensity training (00:42:49) Training for health vs. training for performance (00:43:57) Why muscle mass & cardiorespiratory fitness are like retirement funds (00:45:12) Make exercise a part of your personal hygiene (00:46:16) Why does VO2 max correlate with longevity? (00:53:43) The 2018 JAMA study on cardiorespiratory fitness & mortality (00:59:21) How does change in fitness over time affect mortality? (01:01:34) Why exercise non-responders should consider "increasing the dose" (01:05:23) The 2 limiting factors for improving VO2 max in competitive athletes (01:08:20) How marathon training affects heart size in sedentary young people (01:12:34) Heart adaptations in purely strength-trained vs. endurance athletes (01:18:23) Why pure strength-trainers should incorporate endurance training (01:22:07) How strength training affects blood pressure (exercise pressor reflex) (01:26:41) How exercise influences cardiac output in mitochondrial myopathy patients (01:28:39) Does CrossFit count as endurance training? (01:31:04) What's the best exercise for improving blood pressure? (01:36:11) Lifestyle strategies for treating hypertension (01:38:40) Why recovery is key to reaping the benefits of a training stimulus (01:42:36) The best indicator of being overtrained (01:43:36) Heart rate brackets & running pace estimates for training zones 2-5 (01:50:00) Why heart rate variability is a poor indicator of recovery (01:55:16) Why do men tend to be faster runners than women? (01:58:49) Can women achieve similar aerobic exercise benefits doing 2x less than men? (02:00:21) Are there cardiovascular benefits of HRT in women? (02:02:12) How Dr. Benjamin Levine defines "extreme exercise" (02:04:00) How does exercise volume affect coronary plaque calcification? (02:10:50) How exercise duration & intensity affect coronary calcium levels (02:14:03) Why high exercise duration & intensity increases risk of Afib (02:16:33) What exercise dose increases Afib risk? (02:17:59) Managing stroke risk in athletes prone to Afib with anticoagulants (02:21:14) Why you shouldn't become an endurance athlete to "live longer" PODCAST INFO: Email: RSS: Apple Podcasts: Spotify: SUPPORT THE CHANNEL: As a premium member, listeners get access to our exclusive podcast The Aliquot, monthly Q&As, a special summary of scientific research every other week called the Science Digest, and more. Sign up to become a premium member and nurture the existence of all of the otherwise free resources provided by FoundMyFitness at


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