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What Exercise should I do to keep my heart healthy??

Posted on: 19 Jun 2021

By: Dr Vinoth Kumar

Published in:

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Heart-related diseases are the leading cause of death across the world. But it is preventable with adequate measures like a physical activity than being sedentary. There are a lot of scientific evidences to support this. Even without any risk factors, physical inactivity alone can be a sole cause of heart disease. Even if a heart problem occurs in a physically active person it will be less severe and will occur at a later age.

What are the different types of exercises?

  1. Aerobic exercises

Walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, and dancing are all come under aerobic exercises.

  1. Strength exercises

Weight lifting, gardening, push-ups, squats, and crunches

  1. Flexible exercises

These include stretching body parts-yoga

  1. Balance exercises

Standing on one foot, walking heel to toe

Which exercises are very helpful in improving heart health?

All exercises are very helpful for good health but aerobic exercise and strength exercises are very useful in improving the cardiac health

What are the different levels of exercises for common people to understand?

Low-intensity exercises: which means during this physical activity you can talk and sing comfortably. Eg: slow walking

Moderate intensity exercise: which means during this physical activity you can comfortably talk but can’t sing.

Eg: Brisk walking, dancing, swimming, gardening, cycling at less than 10 miles per hour speed.

Vigorous intensity exercise: which means during this physical activity you will not be able to speak even few words without gasping for breath

Eg. Jumping rope, Running, Aerobic dancing, cycling at more than 10 miles per hour speed, Hiking uphill, walking with a backpack etc.

How much exercise should we do to keep the heart healthy?

  • If you can do only moderate physical activity – 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercises per day for atleast 5 days in a week or 150 min per week without 2 consecutive holidays (If possible doing 300 min per week will give maximum benefits)
  • If your health condition permits doing vigorous physical activity – 15 minutes of Vigorous aerobic exercises per day for atleast 5 days in a week or 75 min per week should be sufficient
  • In addition to the above mentioned activities if you can add moderate or vigorous muscle strengthening exercises involving all major muscles for atleast  2 days per week ( eg.Push ups, weight lifting) the benefits will be enormous.
  • It is important to gradually increase the duration and type of exercise so that the body will get adapted to the physical activity. Also, do it regularly without periods of interruption.

What are the benefits of regular physical activity?

1.Reduction of BP

2.Reduction of blood sugar levels and increase the sensitivity of the body tissues to insulin

3.Reduction of bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and Increase in good cholesterol levels (HDL)

4.Reduction of body weight

5.Reduction of bone loss

6.Reduction of mental stress

7.Promotes better sleep

What can be done if exercise could not be done on regular basis?

Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Some physical activity is better than none. Adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity gain some health benefits

  1. Spend less time sitting and keep moving for 5 min after every 1 hr of continuous sitting. It can just be moving around the office to fetch a file or walking down the hallway. A smart phone Stand up Reminder app can help.
  2. Use stairs rather than the elevator whenever possible
  3. Try walking rather than driving for shorter distances
  4. Don’t fight for the closest parking space. Park farther and walk to your destination.
  5. Step counts of around 10000 steps/day may result in health benefits that are almost similar to that of doing 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate aerobic physical activity.
  6. Reduce time in front of the TV, computer, and on video games. Try other fun activities which involve movements.
  7. Any amount of physical activity counts even if it’s for few minutes. Every active minute adds up to better health.