Information About Cardiovascular Diseases And The Kind Of Exercises You Engage In

Information About Cardiovascular Diseases And The Kind Of Exercises You Engage In

Cardiovascular disease comprises different pathologies that affect the heart and the circulatory system, including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.

Exercise, mostly the aerobic conditioning type and strength training, is one of the key mediations to prevent death and ill health caused by cardiovascular disease.

The practice of physical exercise involves a series of responses from the body. If exercise is only done at a certain time, in an irregular manner that is not repeated in two or three weeks, then your body will go through “acute physiological response”.

In this type of response, the body tries to meet the temporary needs of this physical effort, without any long-term adaptation to it.

On the other hand, when this physical effort is repeated with a certain intensity, duration and periodicity over time, we are facing what we call “training” which implies a lasting adaptation to better meet the needs.

Physiotherapists are experts in the programming of physical activity and therapeutic exercise aimed at the prevention, cure, and recovery of diseases.

Those who suffer from cardiovascular diseases can benefit from the service of physiotherapists to return to their daily activity.

The biological resultant effects that are going to take place on the Cardiovascular system as a result of training will be:

  • Cardiac muscle hypertrophy (increase in cardiac fiber size).
  • Increased ventricular cavities.
  • Reduction of resting heart rate.
  • The appearance of alterations in the baseline electrocardiogram.

All these changes produce what is known as “the athlete’s heart syndrome”, which is the expression of a lasting adaptation of the heart to a continuous demand over time to a certain intensity of exercise.

Thus, the drawing out of oxygen by the heart from the blood is done to the fullest. During exercise, in order to meet the greater needs of oxygen, what the heart does is increase the size of the vessels that carry blood, the coronary arteries.

Another adaptation of the heart when performing regular aerobic training is an elongation of the cardiac muscle fiber that leads to an increase in the cardiac cavities; this is what is known as cardiomegaly.

The consequence of this increase in size is that in each expulsion of blood, the volume becomes greater and therefore the amount of oxygen carried by the blood in each beat is increased.

Information About Cardiovascular Diseases And The Kind Of Exercises You Engage In

The Heart Rate and Exercise

The resting heart rate (HR) in the healthy and active adult is approximately 60 to 80 beats per minute. In sedentary and elderly individuals, it is around 100 beats per minute. The number even goes up in those with cardiovascular risk factors, and among smokers or major consumers of caffeine or alcoholic beverages, or social drug addicts.

We must remember the following:

  • The resting heart rate (HR) normally decreases with age due to the biological process of aging of the cardiovascular system and the degenerative processes related to atherogenesis.
  • Factors such as the increase in temperature and the increase in altitude increase resting HR.
  • Certain diseases such as hypothyroidism and ventricular atrial blockages and some medications such as beta-blockers can affect resting HR by decreasing it. On the contrary, it can be increased by the use of stimulant medications such as amphetamines and derivatives of catecholamines, and in diseases such as some types of arrhythmias.

Information About Cardiovascular Diseases And The Kind Of Exercises You Engage In

7 Reasons Why Exercise Is Good For The Heart

  1. Strengthens and increases the thickness of the myocardium: when exercising, the heart muscle is strengthened and becomes larger, the heart fiber of the myocardium (one of the layers that cover the heart) is increased. This way you can pump more blood in the body more efficiently.
  2. Reduce the resting heart rate.
  3. Improves the health of the cardiovascular system: exercise stimulates the growth of capillaries (small blood vessels), in the muscle. This also aids in the efficient delivery of oxygen to the muscle.
  4. Reduces cardiovascular risk: People who train and exercise regularly, have fewer risks of developing heart problems and cardiovascular diseases.
  5. It helps to maintain an adequate weight: combined with a healthy diet, exercise improves the efficiency in our body’s expenditure of calories, which facilitates weight loss and maintenance. It also increases the basal metabolism rate (the calories we burn at rest), reduces appetite and helps decrease body fat.
  6. It increases the number of red blood cells in the body, to facilitate the transport of oxygen to all parts of the body.
  7. It increases lung capacity and also reinforces the muscles involved in breathing.

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