Using exercise to help the heart recover is one of the latest ideas in the health sector.
Before the 1950s, the doctor’s advice to cardiac patients was always “keep off any physical activity.” In 1952, the most conspicuous recommendation was for patients not to be laid in the hospital bed but rather use an armchair. However, not all health practitioners agreed to this, making it a controversial one. Then in the late 1950’s, a recommendation for a physical activity came up, reports Steady Health.
But now, aerobic exercise is the key to recovery from bad heart, as explained by Dr. Jonathan Kim of Emory Healthcare.
“One of the tenets of what we do [at his physiology lab] is that exercise is medicine,” he said.
Several aerobic exercises such as cycling, jogging and swimming have a tendency of raising the heart beat rate. After a given period of time, with consistency, the heart becomes efficient and is thus able to pump more blood but with little effort. This exercise also has the tendency of evading some heart problems like closure of the arteries.
Dr. Jonathan Whiteson, medical director for cardiac rehabilitation at NYU Langone Medical Center, says that with each physical exercise, the heart rate gets elevated and eventually reaches to a level where the medics term a training heart rate zone.
The most typical target is usually a 70 or 80 percent rate but some usually aim to reach much higher than that.
Achieve much higher goal
Modern-day doctors aim at pushing the limits of what the cardiac patients can do. They are now used to advising high-intensity interval training as opposed to moderate exercise.
The high-intensity interval training, or HIIT involves advocating for brief intervals, preferably 30 seconds to some few minutes. This is then followed by longer exercises but with less intensity.
HIIT is not a new recommendation because the athletes have been using it for quite a long time now.
Research in HIIT started in the 1970’s but it was not taken that serious despite showing “dramatic improvements” in most patients.
Little by little the trend became a norm in most rehab centres and among the physical trainers. In 2017, HIIT was listed number 3 fitness trend by the American College of Sports Medicine.
The only problem is that some people are not patient enough to conduct longer exercises involving less activity. They just want to do the entire exercise all in one pack.
“In the field of sports cardiology, we still have a lot of limitations between what we know and what we don’t know,” explained Kim.