Weight Training And The Heart
Traditionally heart patients are strictly advised against indulging in any weight lifting exercises due to the added stress it can cause to the heart. However, research shows that this is not entirely true. Patients suffering from angina, uncontrolled blood pressure, severe pulmonary hypertension and congestive heart failure are often refrained from lifting weights. However, when they practice using light weights, it can benefit patients with stable coronary disease. The positives of weight training include increased muscle strength, bone density, insulin sensitivity, and endurance.
However, it is extremely crucial that all heart patients consult their cardiologists before taking up weight training, as it affects each patient differently. It is also important to decide on which exercises to do, intensity and duration beforehand in consultation with the doctor and trainer. Also, weight training exercises must always be performed under the supervision of an experienced trainer who has prior experience in dealing with heart patients.
The Heart And Exercises
For those with a history of any heart ailment, like a weak heart or having suffered from a heart attack, aerobic exercises are the safest. Research indicates that an ongoing exercise routine (over 150 minutes a week) improves the functioning of the heart, expedites the recovery process and even reverses heart conditions in some cases. An ideal exercise regime should consist of a mix of aerobic (cardio) exercises, stretching and weight training. This will help burn calories, lower blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol and boost good cholesterol.
Aerobic exercises denote low to high-intensity physical exercise that depends primarily on the aerobic energy-generating process. Medium to long distance running, jogging. brisk walking, swimming, and cycling are some of the exercises recommended for good heart health, but do not push yourself too hard. Pro-exercise warmups and post-exercise cool down routines are extremely important. Stretching can improve the body’s flexibility and also regulate blood flow.
Weight Lifting And Heart Health
- Weight training involves exercises in which one has to lift weights. If done correctly, ¡t helps widen blood vessels and lower arterial stiffness. Both these factors are key contributors to good heart health.
- Weight lifting should always be done in combination with aerobic exercises and not more than two-three times a week as over indulgence can cause injury. The amount of weight that one can lift depends on age, gender, physical condition and the cardiac function of the person. It also depends on the type of exercise being done
- It is imperative for pre-diagnosed heart patients to consult their cardiologist before engaging in any sort of weight training exercises.
Exercising should make you feel wonderful and not stressed out. Add variety to your regime to make it more enjoyable. Make exercising an integral part of your life and help your heart stay fit and healthy.
Precautions While Exercising
- Stop exercising if there is shortness of breath. Consult a doctor to discuss the symptoms. It the problem persists, the doctor might make changes in your diet and medication.
- Do not exercise if you have been recently unwell. It is important to wait for a few days for the symptoms to disappear.
- Stop exercising it the heartbeat ¡s irregular or there are palpitations. Rest and check your pulse after 15 minutes. If it’s more than 120 beats per minute at rest, consult your doctor immediately.
- Do not ignore any pain you feel while exercising. If you have pain in the chest or anywhere else in the body, discontinue exercising. Performing an activity while in pain causes damage to the joints.
- Watch out for chest pain, dizziness, weakness, pressure or pain in your neck, jaw, arm or shoulder. If you experience any of the above, stop exercising and rest.
- Never opt to engage in strenuous exercises such as running a marathon without prior training.
- Do not exercise for at least an hour after eating.
- Maintain a steady pace whether you are doing aerobic exercises or weight lifting.
- Always workout at a moderate consistent speed especially when lifting weights.
- Breathe while exercising. Exhale when you are lifting weights and inhale when you some back to the starting position.
- If you are healthy, start with 12 repetitions of each exercise and if you are afflicted with a condition, use lighter weights and do as many as 15 repetitions of each set.