The best and worst exercises for heart





It is a known fact that heart diseases are the most common reason for deaths in our country. To add to it, there is a disturbing rise in the rate of heart problems and a spike in cardiac arrest cases during the current coronavirus pandemic. People with comorbidities and those suffering from health conditions, including heart disease and diabetes, are at high risk of contracting the virus. So the only option we are left with is to care for our heart. We spoke to Dr. Tilak Suvarna, Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai to know more about it.

01/ ​Best exercises for heart

While we all know that positive lifestyle changes are the only way ahead, it is also important to know there is a particular type of physical activity or exercise that helps considerably in keeping coronary heart disease at bay. “The exercises that are good for the heart are isometric exercise which means all the muscles of the body are put into use, and not isotonic exercise wherein only a specific group of muscles are utilised. Examples of isometric exercise are walking, jogging, running, swimming, cycling, etc. Isotonic exercises include push- ups, stomach crunches, weight lifting, etc. Brisk walking is the best, simplest and easily doable type of exercise,” Dr Survana shared.

02/ ​How exercising helps

If you want to understand how exercising really helps the heart, here is a brief explainer. “Exercise burns calories, which can help in maintaining ideal body weight. Regular exercise also helps in controlling the most common risk factors linked to a heart attack, like blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. Moreover, exercise causes the heart arteries to dilate, reduces the resting heart rate and improves the physiological conditioning of the heart, thus making the heart better prepared to withstand any stress or insult. Finally, regular exercise leads to a ‘phenomenon called “ischemic preconditioning’ which essentially means that the heart is better able to adapt to inadequate blood flow due to coronary artery blocks, mainly by improving collaterals or ‘natural bypass’.”

03/ ​Precautions for people with reduced heart function

But people who are already suffering from heart ailments, have to follow certain precautions. “People with reduced heart function, which is diagnosed by a 2D-Echocardiography test, should not embark on any exercise program without first consulting their physician. They should always start with a low-intensity and short duration exercise, and then gradually increase the intensity and duration. If at any time you feel shortness of breath or giddiness or chest heaviness, then you should immediately pause or stop.”

04/ ​A heart-healthy diet

Coming to the diet, a heart-healthy diet includes lots of fruits, vegetables and salads. Avoid food rich in fat or cholesterol and food high in calories. Have more of whole grains instead of refined grains and reduce your salt intake.

According to the doctor, there are certain non negotiable things when it comes to maintaining heart health. First and foremost being a sedentary lifestyle, followed by irregular food habits, refined and processed food diet, smoking/tobacco and stress.

In short, it is important to keep your heart healthy if you want to live long!


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The best and worst exercises for heart The best and worst exercises for heart Reviewed by streakoggi on July 30, 2020 Rating: 5
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