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Exercise • Heart failure

Exercise • Heart failure

Exercise • Heart failure It is best to walk 20-30 minutes per day, 5 days per week. You can start with 5-10 minutes per day at a slow pace and add time and speed as you get stronger. You should be able to talk while walking. If you are too short of breath, stop for 1-3 minutes and start walking again at a slower pace.

People with heart failure feel better when they stay active. Years ago, patients were told to rest and give up activities. But, now, research shows that normal activity is safe for most people with heart failure. Being active may help relieve your symptoms.

People trying to incorporate more physical activity can take small steps by walking upstairs instead of taking the elevator or parking further away while shopping. Taking small steps could eventually lead to incorporating more physical activity.

A six-year analysis of more than 94,000 adults in the U.K. Biobank shows engaging in moderate or vigorous physical activity may reduce the risk of developing heart failure. The new research was published in American Heart Association’s flagship journal Circulation.

Exercise • Heart failure
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The study finds that compared to participants who engaged in little to no moderate or vigorous physical activity, adults who completed 150-300 minutes of moderate physical activity in a week had a 63% lower risk of heart failure, and those who completed 75-150 minutes of vigorous activity in a week were estimated to have a 66% lower risk.

Earlier research findings had discovered performing 150-300 minutes of moderate exercise or 75-150 minutes of vigorous exercise each week may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke but the new study is one of the first studies to measure the risk of heart failure using objectively measured activity levels.

The results also suggest that every physical action matters and even a leisurely 10-minute walk is preferable to inactivity and sitting. Researchers say, walking even a little bit faster can increase the intensity and potential health benefits of exercise.

Exercise • Heart failure

Frederick K. Ho, PhD, a lecturer in public health at the University of Glasgow in Glasgow, Scotland, and a co-lead author of the study said that there are numerous ways that regular physical activity may lower the risk of developing heart

Frederick says exercise lowers the risk of developing heart failure by preventing weight gain and the related cardiometabolic conditions high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. He also adds it may also help to strengthen the heart muscle, preventing the onset of heart failure.

He further added, “In general, moderate physical activity is safer and simpler to incorporate into daily routines. Being physically active vigorously can often be the most time-effective and may be better for people who are busy.”

The data for this study was collected between 2013 and 2015 using an email address given by the participants to the UK Biobank and a subset of 94,739 randomly selected participants were invited.

All factors such as age, sex, ethnicity, education, socioeconomic status, smoking, alcohol consumption, and dietary factors were taken into account.

Exercise • Heart failure

Naveed Sattar, a senior author in the study said, “Our findings add to the overwhelming body of other evidence that suggests that maintaining even a modest amount of regular physical activity can help prevent the onset of a range of chronic conditions, including heart failure.”

Researchers gave participants in the United Kingdom an electronic device that tracked their exercise level and frequency for a week, in a large study of nearly 95,000 people.

Since heart disease is a top cause of death, researchers are constantly looking for ways to reduce people’s likelihood of dying from heart failure.

Exercise • Heart failure

The researchers found that people who participated in moderate-intensity or vigorous exercise had a reduced risk of heart failure.

The study is the first to use exercise data compiled by a device rather than relying on the participants’ self-reported activity.

Since heart disease is a top cause of death, researchers are constantly looking for ways to reduce people’s likelihood of dying from heart failure.

A recent study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation Trusted Source examined the benefits of moderate and vigorous exercise in reducing heart failure risk.

The cohort study is a first of its kind since it utilized data from devices that measure physical activity levels and followed up within six years to check on the participants’ health status instead of relying on self-reports from the participants.

Heart health quick facts

Some heart diseases include coronary heart disease, heart failure, and heart valve disease. These can all lead to cardiac arrest, which can be fatal.

High blood cholesterol may increase a person’s heart failure risk since it causes plaque buildup in arteries, leading to a heart attack or stroke.

Exercise • Heart failure

High blood pressure — hypertension can contribute to heart disease, and someone is considered at stage 1 hypertension Trusted Source when their systolic reading is between 130-139 and their diastolic reading is between 80-90.
Obesity and being overweight — being classed as overweight or having obesity can also elevate one’s risk of heart failure.

Certain hereditary factors can predispose someone to a higher risk of heart disease. For example, African Americans and Mexican Americans have a higher heart disease risk.

Moderate vs. vigorous activity

The key to this study was using data obtained objectively instead of relying on data that the participants self-reported, which the authors mentioned is subject to self-bias.

Approximately 94,000 people in the U.K. Biobank participated in the study and wore electronic devices that tracked their heart rate and activity levels for a week. At the time of the study, none of the participants, who were an average age of 56, had a history of cardiovascular disease.

Exercise • Heart failure

Within six years, the study researchers accessed the participants’ activity information and health records to see what percentage of them had heart failure. The study compared participants who performed either moderate or vigorous physical activity to those who performed either minimal or no physical activity.

The adults who performed between 150-300 minutes of moderate physical activity in the week they wore their tracking devices had a 63% reduced risk of heart failure. The adults who logged between 75-150 minutes of vigorous physical activity had a 66% reduction in heart failure risk.

For example, physical activity helps prevent weight gain and related cardiometabolic conditions, such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, all of which are risk factors for heart failure,” he explained.

Limitations of the study

“Most of the patients were white, and the study does not provide a direct link between exercise and heart failure prevention,” she said. “Nevertheless, it is a powerful databank that highlights an important tool to decrease the risk of developing heart failure.”

Exercise • Heart failure

Activities to improve heart health

The study findings emphasize the importance of incorporating activity into daily life. While some people may not be able to fit in exercising as frequently as others, regular movement is important for heart health.

“These findings indicate that every physical movement counts. A leisurely, 10-minute walk is better than sitting and no physical activity. And, if possible, try to walk a little faster, which increases the intensity and potential benefits of exercise,”

Moderate-intensity activities include walking at 2.5mph, gardening, and water aerobics.

“I recommend that my patients engage in moderate-intensity exercise of at least 45 minutes per day most days of the week,” Dr. Basit said. “Even though the study found 600 minutes per week as optimal, most patients, especially older patients, are not able to exercise to that level and would become dissuaded with a difficult to achieve goal.”

“Creating good exercise and dietary habits early will lead to a longer and healthier life. Studies like this go a long way to validate the benefit of a well-rounded healthy lifestyle centered around exercise and nutrition.”
– Dr. Majid Basit

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