Dr A. Srinivasan talks about the importance of exercising | Health News

The role of exercise in health is undisputed, but how, when and how much is very important; especially in heart disease. Exercise paired with a healthy diet and avoiding smoking is a simple measure of heart health. In some cases, exercise can be as powerful as medicine.1

Exercise helps heart health in the following ways:1

  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Ensures healthy body weight
  • Strengthens muscles
  • Improves circulation of blood in the body, reduces the load on the heart
  • Stops or delays the development of diabetes
  • Decrease risk of stroke, blood clots
  • Lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol
  • Reduces stress, making you feel good
  • Decrease inflammation which affects several body systems

However, pushing too hard is a bad idea. Research shows that exercising more than the recommended guidelines can lead to major health issues.3 Besides, the exercise regimen should be carefully chosen based on your health and physical conditions. Therefore, consult a doctor/physical trainer before you start an exercise routine.

Exercise, how?

First thing is to make a start and get more active. Choose an activity that you enjoy. Ensure you wear comfortable clothes and footwear. Schedule exercise in your daily timetable. Exercise with your friends and family. Maintain an exercise log and track progress. Do not exercise when you are sick or for a few days following sickness – give time for your body to recover.2

Exercise, what?

Anything that makes you move and burn calories is exercise. It could be as simple as doing household work or climbing stairs. However, aerobic (or “cardio”) activity puts your heart and lungs at work and improves their fitness. The following table gives you a list of different types of aerobic exercises one can do (again, you need to talk to your doctor before starting any).4

Exercise, how much?

About 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise are recommended for healthy living. Moderate exercise for 30 min a day for 5 days a week is often sufficient to achieve optimal health benefits. Vigorous exercise can be limited to just 3 days a week as there are chances of injury.2

Exercise slowly for the first five minutes; it helps the heart rate increase gradually, the body to loosen and increases blood flow to muscles. Then perform your exercise routine, and at the end, cool down for 5 minutes to allow your heart rate to come back to resting levels and temperature to normal. Ensure you are well hydrated.

During the initial days, start with low-intensity exercise and then gradually increase the intensity as your body starts accepting and adjusting to the exercise. Also, increase the duration of exercise gradually.

Red flags

Stop exercising when you have chest pain; heaviness in the chest; fatigue neck, upper back and jaw pain; and light-headedness or dizziness. So, ensure your surroundings are safe.

Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only. Please consult a qualified healthcare professional before taking any decisions regarding recommendations in the article or for more information.


Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/7-heart-benefits-of-exercise.
Jin J. Counseling on Healthy Diet and Physical Activity to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease. JAMA. 2020 Nov 24;324(20):2114.
ACSM Position Stand: The Recommended Quantity and Quality of Exercise for Developing and Maintaining Cardiorespiratory and Muscular Fitness, and Flexibility in Healthy Adults, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Volume 30(6), June 1998, pp 975-991
American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults and Kids. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults
How much exercise is too much exercise? Times News Network, Aug 22, 2021 (https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/fitness/how-much-exercise-is-too-much-exercise/articleshow/85515605.cms)


A Srinivasan

MD, DM, Cardiologist, tanjore.

(Brand Desk Content)


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