Nobody needs to be told how important heart health is. Maintaining proper cardiac health throughout your life is one of/ if not the best predictor of health outcomes later in life. Inactivity and sedentary behaviour, low fitness and poor exercise tolerance are the big red flags we look for at the clinical exercise centre at Deakin University.
Research shows that poor tolerance to exercise, given that it is related to sedentary behaviour increases the risk of almost every poor health outcome under the sun. Even though this risk is small, it’s still worth trying to avoid by maintaining our cardiac health!
So how do you maintain cardiac health? What are the limits?
There are none. Exercise of any mode, anywhere, anytime at any intensity above resting will do. We recently had a patient come into the clinic with a referral list longer than a dictionary. HOCM (hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy), Hypertension, a Pacemaker, 2 Stents, Atrial Fibrillation and more.
Now you’d think; “okay this person is on the verge, we have to be careful”. But that’s not the case at all, we had her doing HIIT intervals on the stationary bike while monitoring their heart and we saw no adverse events, even her ST segment (a diagnostic tool for heart attacks and tissue oxygenation) remained a safe and stable level.
The point being, that to maintain your heart, all you need to do is get up and go, go for a walk every day, even if it’s just 10 minutes, anything will do. While there might be no recipe to have the perfect heart, it’s just like a fruit salad. No matter how you slice it, it’s still a fruit salad. Just do your best to get out there and you’ll doing yourself and your heart a favour!
By Christopher Burns PT ALTA Fitness