The Role of Exercise in improving Heart Health
20th October 2016
Everyone knows about the benefits of exercise for losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight. A lot of people don’t think past the aesthetic benefits of doing exercise and may think that because they are able to maintain a healthy weight without exercising there is no need for them to do so. However the benefits of exercise extend much further than this and include:
- Improving Heart/Cardiovascular Health
- Reduce Risk of Diabetes
- Reduce Risk of some cancers
- Improve Bone Health
- Improve Joint Health and Flexibility
How Much Exercise Should I do?
To experience all the health benefits that come with exercising regularly it is recommended that adults aged 19-64 should stick to the following recommendations:
Exercise & the Heart/Cardiovascular System
During exercise the activity of the muscles increase and therefore they need to produce more energy which they can use to fuel their movement. In order to produce energy, they require more oxygen to be delivered via the blood. Therefore heart rate increases so that more blood can be pumped out and directed to the muscles.
Exercising regularly will improve the body’s ability to transport and utilise oxygen. Therefore everyday activities put less stress on the heart and become less tiring.
The reason for this improvement in the efficiency of the heart and cardiovascular is down to the physiological changes which result from exercising, these include:
The section of the heart (Left Ventricle) which contracts and pumps blood to the rest of the body becomes larger and its walls become more muscular. This allows it to pump out more blood with every beat and with greater force. This means the heart doesn’t need to beat as frequently to provide the body with the oxygen it requires so heart rate doesn’t increase as much.
The number of more red blood cells within the blood increases. Red blood cells contain molecules known as haemoglobin which carry oxygen to the areas of the body which require it. The more red blood cells therefore means more oxygen can be delivered to the body.