For those with a heart condition or who are recovering from a recent cardiovascular event, moderate and regular exercise can help strengthen the heart. In fact, according to a study done at Imperial College London, regular exercise exceeding three hours a week can improve heart performance and even strengthen and enlarge the heart. Every patient should always consult his or her doctor before starting an exercise program. In many cases, the doctor may have access to the medical information necessary to recommend an exercise plan tailored specifically to the patient’s needs and capabilities. Here are just a few exercises that can hasten a cardiovascular patient’s recovery.
Walk the Walk
No. 1 on the list of heart exercises is a good walk. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), a brisk walk provides the same benefits as an intense run for strengthening the heart muscle. Walking also lowers the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes just as much as running, all three of which are risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
Among the easiest and most productive ways to tune up the heart and lungs is a firm but leisurely swim. Aim for working up to 20-40 minutes worth of brisk swimming that keeps the heart rate up. For a non-swimmer, even slow-walking through the shallow end of the pool water is equivalent to a session of moderate water aerobics.
Like the Bikes
The pumping leg action of a stationary bike strengthens the heart while minimizing stress on the hips, back, knees, and ankles. If the weather beckons, hop on the bike in the garage and take it for a ride, too. Many citizens in countries outside the U.S. regularly bike for commuting, and all of that low-impact exercise pays off as far as heart health goes. A Danish study conducted over 14 years with 30,000 people aged 20 to 93 years found that regular cycling protected people from heart disease.
An ever-increasing volume of research at renowned Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore cites yoga as a significant source of support for all kinds of cardiovascular treatment, including heart failure. The calming effects of yoga can be active contributors to managing the stress, anxiety, and depression associated with most heart events.
Marion Physician Associates P.A. provides advanced cardiology care services through the Marion Heart Center in Ocala. Our experienced doctors provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation and other cardiac conditions. For our doctors and associates to serve you as quickly as possible, please call us at 352-732-3005 or fill out our appointment form. Our two locations and professionals at the heart center promise you the diagnosis and care you need.