Why Regular Exercise is Needed for a Healthy Heart? | Dr. Hemant Madan


Friends I am Professor Dr. Hemant Madan. In Narayana Surperspeciality Hospital, I am senior consultant and director cardiology and paediatric cardiology. There is a big hesitation regarding exercise in our society. There is no doubt that Indians by and large is a non exercising society. Does this predispose to disease? On a larger scale it predisposes to many, many diseases. We can not imagine that for not exercising what kind of diseases gets predisposes in our body Since I am a cardiologist, I will limit my discussion to heart diseases only. By doing exercise many heart diseases related risk factors can be controlled. What are the predominately risks factors of heart diseases? High blood pressure, high sugar, high cholesterol, over weight we call all these as modifiable risk factors. All these factors can be controlled by doing exercises. When we do exercise, during that time our blood pressure increases. But after that, it has been observed that till 6,8,10 hours, our blood pressure actually drops due to which patients suffering from heart diseases are benefited. When we exercise naturally, our sugar metabolizes so if anyone is diabetic then it helps a lot. Naturally when we exercise, our calories do burn which helps in weight reduction. Finally due to exercise, the feel good factor that is there, the exerciser who is regular knows that there are some hormones known as endorphines are released in the body. It gives a kick to the body. That is a great quietening effect to the body It creates a great anxiety reducing effect on the body. Many a times in conferences and meetings, I say that in a setup fit and fat is much better than lean and lazy. This means that if a person is fat but is into regular exercise, walks regularly, or whatever exercise he can do, that is much better than a person who is thin but lazy and does not go for any kind of exercise. The second question is, what kind of exercise should we do? should it be in a gym or open air? If it’s in gym then should it be cardio or weight training? The general advise for this is, you should do a mixture of exercises. There is nothing that you will only be fit if you are going to the gym and not if you walk outside. Looking at the weather and your comfort and your convenience, wherever you are exercising is useful. Thirdly there are many people who say that they do yoga instead of exercise. Is yoga as good as doing exercise? Well yoga is by and large for the mind, body flexibility, but exercise, particularly physical exercise which increases the heart rate, releases sweat, has a different level of benefit in it. Therefore flexibility or meditation cannot replace the usefulness of physical exercise. Finally the question how much to do and how frequently to do. Generally it is recommended that for 30 to 45 minutes and for at least 5 to 6 days in a week one should exercise. The exercise should be such that the heart rate increases up to 120 or 130 or 140 so that body feels a physical strain and gets the benefit. Thank you.

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