September 28, 2021 | Dr. Manan Vora, Interventional Orthopedist & Sports Medicine Specialist, Mumbai
Tokyo Olympics has caught our attention with the Indian athletes making us proud with their achievements. It has also reinitiated a conversation on the importance of sport and exercise in our lives. The thrill, the adrenaline rush, and the zeal that it brings with, cannot be ignored.
But is the upside of playing sports limited to the adrenaline rush? Sport and Exercise play a crucial role in taking care of your health. On World Heart Day, I want to focus on how it can help improve your heart health.
Regular Exercise and sporting activities can help reduce blood pressure and reduce stress hormones which put an extra burden on your heart. It also acts like a beta blocker which helps maintain optimum heart rate.
It works by creating positive physiological changes, such as encouraging the heart’s arteries to dilate more readily. It also helps your sympathetic nervous system (which controls your heart rate and blood pressure) to be less reactive.
According to the American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine, one should combine aerobic activity such as cycling, swimming or jogging for 30 minutes a day up to 5 days a week, with resistance training such as moderate weightlifting for atleast 2 times a week. This combination of aerobic training as well as resistance training will provide the best solution for preventing heart disease.
Many of us feel that physical activity is not our cup of tea. However, you do not have to be an elite athlete to indulge in sport and exercise. What matters is the consideration you have for your mental and physical well being and what you can do in your capacity.
It’s never too late to start, and you must take matters in your own hands.
It’s time to play for your heart, and not with it.