Benefits of exercise on the heart

Dr Shrilla Banerjee, Consultant Cardiologist at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital 

So, what are the benefits of exercise on the heart?

 What you need to know about running and your heart. 

As up there with one of the most natural forms of exercise, which requires no equipment it’s no wonder running is so popular. It’s also good for you for a number of reasons however remember, everything in moderation! 

From the perspective of the heart, there are immediate benefits such as stress levels reducing, blood pressure levels improving and reduced risk of diabetes. Regular exercises is shown to reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) as well as getting more of the good stuff (HDL). 

The heart is a relatively simple organ which can also be a big important muscle. Looking at those athletes that have toned muscles this essentially is what also happens to the heart when exercising. It is proven that a lot of heart conditions (excluding some heart conditions that have been inherited) improve with gradual, regular exercise. 

Along with regular exercise to prevent heart disease development, diet is also key such as following a health Mediterranean type diet. Avoiding the likes of pasta, bread and potatoes in your diet and replacing them with green leafy salads with olive oil and pepper dressing. 

But what exercise is the best for your heart?

Along with Running being a recommended aerobic exercise, cycling and swimming also provide benefits. Resistance training such as moderate weightlifting or body weight exercises can benefit building lean muscle as well as making the body efficient and burning calories more rapidly.  

It is recommended to do 5 weeks of aerobic exercise and muscle building twice weekly.  

So, if you’re thinking of Run Gatwick then don’t think twice! For any concerns ensure you talk to a Cardiologist or your GP to get the green light.  

Just do it! Your heart will thank you for it.