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Time and time again we hear that exercise is good for our heart health, but did you know that your heart physically changes to adapt to your work out?
Cardio Vs Strength Training
When doing cardio, such as running or jogging, blood flow moves toward working muscles and moves away from other non-working muscles. Cardiovascular exercise increases blood flow and blood volume throughout the body before it returns to the heart.
As the heart receives a larger blood volume, the left ventricle adapts and enlarges. Larger cavity equals more blood and the heart expels more blood per beat even while resting. This causes the heart to become stronger. And over time, cardiovascular exercise can improve blood pressure levels and reduce diabetes risk factors.
Strength-training exercises work a little differently. Strength-training exercises focuses on improving muscle groups by contracting and extending muscles. As the muscles contract they press and close the blood vessels that flow inside them. This increases blood pressure in the rest of the body and the heart has to work harder to push blood out.
The heart accommodates this by increasing the thickness of the left ventricle wall. This thickness, created through chronic weight training, is healthy; whereas thickness created from chronic high blood pressure is not. Strength training causes the heart to work vigorously under pressure for two to three hours per week, while the heart with high blood pressure has to work indefinitely without proper medication and supervision. The healthy heart will become stronger with a lower resting heart rate, while the other heart will suffer damage.
An active lifestyle can improve heart health and even reverse some heart risk disease factors. By engaging in activities, such as running, jogging, cycling, team sports, coupled with healthy eating and stress-reduction techniques, you can obtain life-long healthy results.
- Talk to your doctor about excercises that can help improve your health.
- Get your cholesterol checked to make sure you know the health of your heart.
- Do not start a diet without consulting your medical provider first.
- Always monitor your blood pressure during work-outs