Exercises to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Updated at: Aug 09, 2018
Exercises to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Lack of exercise or sedentary lifestyle might lead to a disability or a disease. Find suggestions and tips to exercise- key to a fit and healthy body.

Dr H K Chopra
Heart HealthWritten by: Dr H K ChopraPublished at: Aug 09, 2018

Our body is designed for physical activity and the impulse to exercise is a natural human tendency. The concept of exercise is right from the time when the baby is in the mother’s womb. The baby’s movement in mother’s womb gives joy to both the mother and the baby. This joy of using the body to its full activity throughout the life leads to perfect health. Food is the fuel that we consume everyday and exercise creates the energy, which uses this fuel. There has to be a proper balance between exercise and direct food consumption. Lack of exercise or sedentary lifestyle might lead to a disability or a disease.

The prevalence of Coronary Artery Disease in adults was 1% in 1960, 11% in 2003, and 14% in 2007 in India in the urban population. CAD is four times higher in Indian in all age groups. To be an Indian is itself a risk factor for premature CAD. Lack of exercise is  one of the risk factors for Coronary Artery Disease. Regular physical exercise, especially aerobic exercises such as walking, wogging, jogging, cycling, swimming, dancing and skiing, increases the myocardial efficiency, reduces blood pressure, improves cardiac output, decreases peripheral vascular resistance and produces new collateral vessels (natural bypass), thus help in bypassing the bypass surgery.

Exercise, especially walking for twenty minutes every day, keeps heart attack away. Exercise also reduces bad cholesterol, increases good cholesterol and reduces obesity. One should never do any unaccustomed exercise, as it may carry a risk of premature heart attack. The best exercise after the age of 40 is brisk walking, on a daily basis, in a beautiful, lush green garden, which will energize you. One should avoid anaerobic exercises such as weightlifting, push-ups, etc. as they increase the tendency for hypertension. I firmly believe in “use your body or lose it” says Dr. H K Chopra.

Tips to Exercise

  • Exercise daily for 30 minutes.
  • Engage yourself in heart friendly or aerobic exercises.
  • Avoid heart unfriendly exercises.
  • Engage in Yoga on daily basis.
  • Avoid unaccustomed exercise.
  • Have adequate hydration before, during and after exercise.
  • Exercise according to your body type Kapha, Pitta or Vata.
  • Have your exercise protocol by your Doctor after the age of forty especially if you have coronary artery disease or had heart attack, asthma, hypertension or if we had stroke (paralysis), osteoarthritis, peripheral vascular disease or if you had intervention such as PTCA / CABG, permanent pacemaker implantation, valve replacement or AICD (automatic intracardiac device) implantation.
  • Avoid extremes of weather for exercise.
  • Avoid exercise after alcoholic drinks or smoking.
  • Best time for exercise is Kapha period that is 6 am to 10 am or 6 pm to 10 pm.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise.

Dr. H K Chopra, Consultant, Medicine and Cardiology, Moolchand Medcity, New Delhi.

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