Exercise is Recomended to Help Combat Heart Problems
Nearly 80% of Americans do not get the recommended amount of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity recommended for optimal health.
Far from being only a matter of weight loss or aesthetics, exercise is a crucial element of disease prevention and management, with the “side effect” of helping you maintain a healthy weight.
There’s a reason why the late Dr. Neil Butler, gerontologist and psychiatrist who founded the International Longevity Center (ILC), said, “If exercise could be purchased in a pill, it would be the single most widely prescribed and beneficial medicine in the nation.”
Harvard Medical School also states: “Decades of research have determined that regular exercise is one of the most important factors in warding off cardiovascular disease, many types of cancer, diabetes and obesity.”
Simply by getting moving, people can reap the many scientifically proven benefits that exercise has to offer.
If one has heart failure, it means the heart is not pumping as well as it should be and, as a result, the body is probably not getting enough oxygen. In other words, you have a weak heart.
Once-simple activities, like walking or carrying groceries, may become difficult, and you may also experience fatigue, shortness of breath, fluid build-up and coughing.
A Y 2017 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found a strong, dose-dependent association between low levels of physical activity, higher levels of overweight and obesity (as measured by body mass index (BMI)) and risk of overall heart failure.
However, the risk was most pronounced with one subtype of heart failure, a particularly hard-to-treat variety known as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), in which the heart becomes stiff, resists expansion and does not fill up with enough blood.
Many of the risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, were also lower among people who exercised more.
Overall, those who exercised the recommended amounts lowered their risk of HFpEF by 11 percent, while those who exercised more than the recommended amounts lowered their risk by 19%
There are few effective treatments available for this type of heart failure, and the 5-year survival rate is just 30 to 40%, which highlights the importance of preventive strategies like exercise and healthy weight management.
Past research has also found that people who engage in at least 150 mins of moderate exercise, or 75 mins of vigorous exercise a week had a 33% lower risk of heart failure than inactive people.
People who are overweight or obese are at an increased risk of heart disease, but being physically active might help to reduce or even negate this risk, according to research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
The study included more than 5,300 participants aged 55 years and older, who were categorized as having high or low levels of physical activity.
During 15 years of follow-up, overweight and obese participants with low exercise levels had a higher risk of heart disease than normal-weight participants with high levels of activity.
Notably, overweight and obese participants who exercised often did not have a higher heart disease risk compared to the normal-weight frequent exercisers. This emphasizes that physical activity may matter more than body mass index when it comes to gauging your heart disease risk.
The researchers also noted that being obese may carry the same risk of heart disease as being inactive.11 According to the study: “Our findings suggest that the beneficial impact of physical activity on CVD (cardiovascular disease) might outweigh the negative impact of body mass index among middle-aged and elderly people. This emphasizes the importance of physical activity for everyone across all body mass index strata, while highlighting the risk associated with inactivity even among normal weight people.”
The notion that people should take it easy after having a heart attack or heart failure has been disproven. Exercise allows the heart to work more efficiently and may reduce narrowing of the arteries and other effects of heart disease.
Both heart-failure and heart-attack patients can benefit from getting up and moving as soon as their physicians give them the all clear.
A cardiac rehabilitation program can help you learn what target heartrate you should be aiming for during exercise. Also contrary to popular belief, it’s not only low- or moderate-intensity exercise that you should be after.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT), which involves short periods of intense exercise broken up by periods of lower-intensity rest, may actually be among the most beneficial form of exercise for heart patients and is recommended for this population by the Mayo Clinic.
Most patients are cleared to try HIIT after they’re able to perform moderate-intensity exercise for 20 mins. In one meta-analysis of 10 studies, people with a variety of heart problems (coronary artery disease, heart failure, hypertension and more) had significantly better results from HIIT compared to moderate-intensity workouts.
Specifically, the HIIT workouts led to nearly double the improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness compared to continuous moderate-intensity exercise.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Exercise and Live lively