Health

Heart attack: The best exercise to prevent the life-threatening condition

A heart attack is damaging to your future health, it can even lead to a loss of life. Don’t let that happen. Here’s one step you can do to minimise your risk of an attack.

Iowa State University researchers analysed data from 13,000 adults in the Aerobics Center Longitutidal Study.

The team measured three health outcomes: cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke that didn’t result in death; all cardiovascular events including death; and any type of death.

An analysis, published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, showed the benefits of strength training.

Specifically, lifting weights for less an hour a week was recorded as reducing the risk of a heart attack. By 40 to 70 percent.

These results were independent from other actives, such as running or walking, meaning weight training alone can reduce a person’s risk of a heart attack.

Professor Duck-chul Lee, an associate professor of kinesiology, said: “People may think they need to spend a lot of time lifting weights, but just two sets of bench presses – that take less than five minutes – could be effective.”

In fact, spending more than an hour weight training didn’t yield any additional health benefits.

Professor Lee continued: “Lifting any weight that increases resistance on your muscles is the key.

“My muscle doesn’t know the difference if I’m digging in the yard, carrying heavy shopping bags or lifting a dumbbell.”

Delving into the data even more, Professor Lee and his colleagues looked into the relationship between resistance exercise and high cholesterol.

Too much cholesterol can be harmful because it increases a person’s chance of having a heart attack.

Thankfully, the research illuminated how resistance exercise, such as weight lifting, can reduce cholesterol levels by 32 percent.

Professor Lee added: “Muscle is the power plant to burn calories. Building muscle helps move your joints and bones, but also there are metabolic benefits.

“If you build muscle, even if you’re not aerobically active, you burn more energy because you have more muscle.

“This also helps prevent obesity and provide long-term benefits on various health outcomes.”

The NHS confirmed “making lifestyle changes is the most effective way to prevent having a heart attack”.

This also stands true if you’ve already had a heart attack, and you’re trying to avoid another one.

One of the best things you can do for your heart is to not smoke cigarettes, roll-ups, pipes, or shisha.

Moreover, it’s important to eat a heart-healthy diet. This means avoiding fatty foods, such as sausages, hard cheese, cakes and biscuits.

Instead, focus on a Mediterranean-style diet, full of fruits, vegetables, and fish.

To help keep blood pressure in a healthy range, restrict alcohol intake, maintain a healthy weight and take part in regular exercise.

These core values to live by will set you on a path to a healthier you as you age.

There’s every reason for you to lead a healthy life in order to grow older gracefully.

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