Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Editorial Board: Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Cardiology Exercise

Doctor hands holding red heart. Healthcare And Medical concept.

Cardiology doctors see the effects of a poorly restrained heart everyday. While some heart problems can not be prevented, such as congenital defects of the heart, serious problems of the heart can often be prevented or improved greatly by a regular exercise program. New studies have shown that even moderate exercise done regularly can improve the function and health of the heart.

Good cardiac exercise is not pumping iron at the gym. In order to reap benefits of the heart, you need to elevate your heart rate through cardiovascular exercise, such as fast walking, riding a bicycle or jumping rope, and maintain the elevated heart rate level for a period of time.

The heart is a muscle just like any other, but it works differently. Pumping iron will not strengthen the heart muscle as it does the biceps and quads. The only way to strengthen the heart muscle is through cardiovascular exercise.

Cardiology specialists recommend a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes of exercise at least four times in a week. This works out to about every other day. Any exercise the heart gets will be better than no exercise at all, but 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per day is a fantastic way to look and feel better. 

Walking is not only good exercise for the heart, it is the number one recommended treatment for lower back pain and the most common, effective physical therapy for victims of strokes. People who suffer from arthritis also maintain their mobility longer when they keep up an exercise program such as walking regularly.

Cardiology specialists also recommend a healthy diet, quitting smoking and keeping drinking to a moderate amount in order to maintain heart health. A healthy diet is low in fat and cholesterol and high in nutrients. 

Healthy servings of fruits and vegetables with smaller helpings of meat, breads, butter and sugar are the building blocks for a healthy diet. Diabetics and people with other health considerations might have stricter dietary requirements than others.

Make it a point to see your doctor to get an advice before starting any diet or exercise program. While exercise is recommended for people of normal health, others might be advised to avoid certain exercises. Frequently talk to your doctor about an exercise program following heart surgery or any other medical procedure.