Los mejores ejercicios para mantener un corazón sano

The best exercises to maintain a healthy heart

Today is the perfect time to get going and reach your fitness goals. Exercising regularly doesn't just help you lose weight and gain muscle mass, but it's certainly good for those reasons!

Aerobic exercise, also known as "cardiovascular" exercise, uses repetitive contraction of large muscle groups to speed up the heartbeat and is the type of exercise most beneficial to the cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels). Regular cardiovascular exercises can

Strengthen the heart and blood vessels
Improve oxygen flow throughout the body
Reduce blood pressure and cholesterol
Reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, stroke, and some types of cancer.
What is the "best" cardiovascular exercise?
My patients often ask me, "What is the best type of exercise for heart health?" This is what I tell them I don't care what type of exercise you do, as long as you do something.

There is no "magic bullet" for exercise. There is no "one way" to do it. For example, I do cross training. I can train in the gym for a total of 30 minutes, but I use three different machines for 10 minutes each for variety and to make the exercise more interesting for me.

You don't have to use the same exercise strategy that I do to get the heart-healthy benefits of cardiovascular exercise. The most important thing is that you exercise regularly. One way to make it easier is to make it part of your daily routine.

We all have a daily personal hygiene routine: brushing our teeth, showering, etc. Exercise should be on that list. Exercise should be on that list. A lifelong commitment to regular cardiovascular exercise can preserve heart function and keep it "young" throughout life.

Regular Cardiovascular Exercise for a Healthy Heart:

I recommend exercising a minimum of four or five days a week. A fundamental part of this program is to vary the types and intensity of exercise that is performed on different days. By regularly changing your exercise routine, you'll be working different muscles and reducing the risk of overuse injuries. You can also avoid the trap of doing the same thing over and over again until you get bored and stop altogether.

I recommend exercising at a moderate intensity two to three days a week for at least 30 minutes. You should be sweating and out of breath during good, moderate intensity exercise, but still be able to hold a conversation.

Get longer activity—at least an hour or more—one day a week as part of your exercise routine. This can be a high-intensity activity, like a Zumba class, or a lower-intensity activity, like a long bike ride or a round of golf. The activity itself doesn't matter, as long as you enjoy doing it and it keeps you moving for a while.

If you keep count, I've covered three days of exercise. Day four - and day five if you feel like a challenge - should include high-intensity training. High intensity training stimulates different muscles and different heart and blood vessel responses than low intensity training.

One type of high-intensity training that I personally like is to push yourself to the max for a short time, rest briefly, and then push back to the max for a short time (also called high-intensity interval training or HIIT). , for its acronym in English). There are many types of HIIT. Personally, I like the 4x4. This is an exercise routine used by the Norwegian ski team, which involves working out to your max for four minutes, followed by three minutes of recovery, for a total of four cycles.

In addition to cardio training, strength training one or two days a week is good for your heart and overall health. Strength training builds muscle and can also improve bone strength and metabolism, which can help you avoid diabetes and other conditions.

It's important to note that strength training can take many forms and doesn't have to consist solely of "pulling weights" in a gym. Pilates, bodyweight calisthenics (for example, CrossFit if you feel like it), even strength yoga or tai chi can build strength and balance and are great additions to a training plan.

The order of days you do your moderate-intensity, high-intensity, longer, and strength exercises is not important. You may want to space out HIIT and strength training to give your muscles a day to recover, avoid injury, and get the most out of your training time. Weekends or days off can be a good time to complete longer workouts.

The crux of the matter
In April 2018, our team published the results of a two-year study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health that looked at how exercise affects participants' heart health. We studied about 60 middle-aged men and women (mean age 53 years) who had not previously exercised on a regular basis, and used a cardiac catheter to measure the flexibility or "youth" of the heart after 2 years of exercise training, or a control group that practiced balance and flexibility exercises.

The results of the study were quite convincing, showing that it is possible to reverse some of the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle if one commits to a heart-healthy exercise routine in late middle age (40-64 years). The study was published in the American Heart Association's flagship journal, Circulation, and within months had been seen by more than half a billion people worldwide. This study has received an "Altmetrics" attention score of 2063, placing it in the top 5% of all research studies published in any journal, and one of the highest-scoring publications of all time for Circulation (No. 4 of 17,352).

More recently, in 2021, we published a study on patients in the same age group at risk of developing heart disease, such as heart failure from thick hearts (usually from high blood pressure) and abnormal blood markers of cardiac stress. We trained them for a year, and they showed an improvement in the elasticity, or "youthfulness," of their heart muscle similar to what we see in healthy middle-aged individuals. This study demonstrates that targeted exercise training in midlife can reverse some of the consequences of diseases such as hypertension and potentially prevent more serious diseases such as heart failure in the future.

The benefits of a healthy heart for longevity and quality of life are too great to ignore. A regular exercise routine will help you maintain a healthy heart for many years. Run, swim, play golf, hike, play basketball, dance, do yoga...whatever you like best. The most important thing is to go out there and do it.


Ben Levine, MD Internal Medicine-Cardiology

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