How will exercise help my Heart health?
Appropriately prescribed exercise is extremely beneficial for the health of your heart and cardiovascular system through the following mechanisms:
- Improves delivery of blood to the heart
- Prevents narrowing of the arteries
- Prevents dangerous blood clots from forming
- Helps to maintain a normal heart rhythm
- Reduces “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and increases “good” (HDL) cholesterol
- Aids in weight loss and reduction in the risk of developing co-morbidities
- Assists in the rehabilitation and recovery from cardiac surgery
These mechanisms all help to reduce the stress placed on the heart while at rest, and improves it’s efficiency during activity.
What type of exercise should I do?
Aerobic exercises, such as walking, running, cycling, rowing and swimming are the most beneficial for improving the health of your heart and cardiovascular system. These exercises increase your heart rate to deliver oxygen to your working muscles, which over time improves the efficiency of your cardiovascular system.
People with cardiovascular conditions often tend to be quite sedentary and inactive, therefore having reduced strength and muscle mass in the upper and lower body. Resistance training is vital to ensure you don’t become deconditioned and can maintain strength and endurance well into old age.
When beginning a program to improve heart health it is important to be choosing an exercise that you find enjoyable, as it is much more likely to become a part of your regular routine. An Accredited Exercise Physiologist can help you try different types of exercise and decide which is the most suited to you and your body.
Is there anything I should be wary of?
Exercise often results in an increased heart rate which can place extra stresses on your heart. Depending on your current health level and some medications, you might only be suited to certain intensities of exercise. Our Accredited Exercise Physiologist, in conjunction with your GP or Cardiologist, will work with you to determine the right exercise type, intensity and duration to suit your current level. As you regularly exercise, your heart and cardiovascular system will adapt and you will be able to exercise at a higher level.
If you suffer from Cardiovascular Disease, or any other heart issues, you may have co-morbidities that need to be taken into consideration. These could be conditions such as Diabetes, Arthritis, Chronic Pain or Depression/Anxiety. Our Accredited Exercise Physiologist is well equipped in dealing with all of these conditions and can tailor your exercises to ensure you are not placed at any risk and will actually see benefits and improvements in these areas of your health.