Regular physical activity is beneficial for our heart, also in the case of people who suffer from cardiovascular diseases. Sport reduces the concentration of “bad” cholesterol (LDL), and also reduces body weight, regulates carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, which has a positive effect on the heart.
Physical exercise has a positive effect on our health. – Properly selected physical exercises bring benefits to people after a heart attack, heart failure, valvular surgery and other diseases of the cardiovascular system – said cardiologist Marcin Suska from the American Heart of Poland Group before the May long weekend.
Movement is the basis for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Experts point out that lifestyle factors, including physical inactivity, account for as much as 70 percent of illnesses and deaths due to cardiovascular diseases, and only 30 percent – genetic factors. Movement is the basis for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
– Regular physical activity strengthens the heart muscle, stimulates the network of blood vessels and improves their function, thanks to which more oxygen-rich blood reaches this organ. The heart pumps blood more efficiently, works slower and better, which lowers blood pressure and resting heart rate and reduces the risk of dangerous ventricular arrhythmias and cardiovascular diseases – explained the cardiologist.
He added that sport also reduces the concentration of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) in the blood, and increases the concentration of “good” cholesterol (HDL). It also has a positive effect on mental health – it increases resistance to stress, and also reduces body weight, regulates carbohydrate and lipid metabolism – which has a positive effect on the heart.
What kind of training is good for people with heart problems? – The heart likes the so-called cardio training, which includes, among others, dancing, cycling, walking on a treadmill, training on an elliptical cross trainer, Nordic walking, running, swimming. Such training increases the number of breaths per minute, accelerates the heart rate, and thanks to this, all cells of our body and muscle tissues are better oxygenated – explained Suska.
According to the cardiologist, static and isometric activities, i.e. training with heavy loads, are not recommended for the heart. They do not improve our efficiency or physical condition, but they increase muscle mass, and in some cases they can cause hypertrophy of the heart muscle, hypertension or arrhythmia.
Sports for people after a heart attack
The specialist points out that currently cardiovascular diseases (with some exceptions) are not a contraindication to physical activity.
– Sport is indicated for people after a heart attack, heart failure, after surgery for valvular defects and other diseases of the cardiovascular system. Through properly selected exercises, we achieve health benefits – emphasized Suska.
It is important, however, that physical capacity in people with heart problems is lower than in healthy people, so the activity must be properly selected.
– Remember not to exceed your “maximum heart rate”. The simplest way to calculate it is 220 minus age, but this is an estimate and may be subject to error. If during exercise our heart rate exceeds the maximum heart rate, it will not increase efficiency, but will lead to straining our body – explained Suska.
In addition, many cardiac patients use beta-blockers, which lower both the resting heart rate (by about 20-30 percent) and make it difficult or impossible to reach maximum heart rate. – This group of patients should consult a specialist regarding the heart rate limit – assessed the cardiologist.
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