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How does Exercise benefit heart conditions?

How does Exercise benefit heart conditions?

By exercising and working your heart harder, you can reduce your risk of heart disease by a
third.
The most common heart conditions are:
 Chronic heart failure – when the heart no longer effectively pumps blood to the
lungs and body. Common causes are heart attacks, high blood pressure and
diabetes.
 Coronary heart disease – impacts blood flow of coronary arteries around the heart
that are responsible for supplying oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle. It is
typically caused by fatty deposit build up in the vessels.

Modifiable Risk Factors
 High blood pressure and cholesterol
 Being overweight or obese
 Other comorbidities including type 2 diabetes
 Inactivity
 Alcohol and smoking

Why Exercise?
Exercise prevents, helps treats and alleviates symptoms of several cardiovascular conditions.
Regular exercise that is low to moderate intensity for those with coronary heart disease
shows improvements in heart health such as:
 Preventing further narrowing of the blood vessels
 Preventing potential blood clots
 Increasing and improving the delivery of blood to the heart
 Assisting in maintaining a normal heart rhythm
 Reducing LDL (bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL (good cholesterol)
These cardiovascular changes reduce stress on the heart at rest and during exercise
resulting in a reduction of coronary heart disease related symptoms.

Exercise Recommendations
Those with chronic heart failure are encouraged to exercise but their condition must be
stable. The goal is to work towards 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week.
Aerobic exercise
 Important in chronic heart failure because increased functional capacity and ability
to exercise, the higher the outcomes on survival.
 Should begin at 5-10 minutes and slowly increase as symptoms and fatigue allows.

Resistance training
 Important as muscle size and strength is severely decompensated in chronic heart
failure clients.
 Should begin with low weight and high repetitions.

Important things to remember
 Suitable and prolonged warm up and cool down
 Angina medication if necessary
 Consider medication side effects and pacemaker & internal defibrillators.
 Adequate rest breaks necessary between exercises

References
Exercise Right. 2022. How can exercise help improve your heart health?. [online] Available at:
<https://exerciseright.com.au/heart-conditions/>
Heartfoundation.org.au. 2022. Physical Activity and Exercise | Heart Foundation. [online] Available
at: <https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/heart-health-education/physical-activity-and-exercise>