18 Feb Heart Healthy-Decrease Risks In A Day
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in Mississippi, accounting for over 36% of all deaths. Fellow Mississippians, we have the most deaths from CVD than any other state!
Preventable risk factors for CVD include: inactivity, improper nutrition, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obesity, tobacco use and diabetes. The cardiovascular system consists of the heart and the vessels that transport blood throughout our body supplying organs and muscles along the way. Oxygenated blood leaves the heart through arteries to supply the body then returns to the heart by way of veins to get oxygen again, thus completing one cycle. Without blood supply, death of that specific tissue occurs.
So what can we do to make our heart more efficient?
My friend, the heart is simply a muscle. Specific exercise will work the heart muscle and help it to become more efficient. Just the same as any other muscle after being worked, it gets stronger and eventually that exercise gets easier. When the heart is stronger, it becomes more efficient pumping more blood with a single beat. In other words the heart will circulate and deliver more blood to organs and tissues with less pumps or beats.
Purposeful and heart healthy exercises can reduce Cardiovascular disease, and will also control other factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes.
What are the recommended guidelines for exercise?
American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise for 5 or more days per week (150 minutes/week). Moderate-intensity means 50-85% of your maximal heart rate.
The heart rate or pulse can be calculated by palpating the radial artery located on palm-side of wrist on thumb’s side. Count beats for full 60 seconds for most accurate calculation.
To calculate heart rate for moderate intensity: (220 – Age)x 50% = target heart rate. For example, an individual that is 50 years old will aim for at least 85 beats per minute during exercise [(220-50)x .50 = 85].
Also, performing the activity 10 minutes on 3 different occasions is just as beneficial as 30 minutes. The exercise should be something you enjoy. You could walk, rake leaves, dance or play with the kids to accomplish this. Individuals should include a 5-15 minutes warm-up and cool-down.
If you have a history of cardiovascular or heart disease, please consult with your physician prior to beginning an exercise program. If you increase your activity level and experience chest pains or shortness of breath, discontinue the activity immediately.
February is heart awareness month. Get Moving. Stay Moving.
Kimberly Lee, Doctor of Physical Therapy
Cory Lee, LPTA, RRCA-Certified Running Coach
Pro Physical Therapy, Mantachie, MS
“ACSM | News Releases.” ACSM | News Releases. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2013.
“Chronic Disease Fact Sheet.” – Mississippi State Department of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2013.