One exercise session immediately protects the heart against cardiovascular disease

One exercise session immediately protects the heart against cardiovascular disease
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(NaturalHealth365) When it comes to the benefits of exercise on cardiovascular health, it turns out a little goes a long way. New research out of the Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom has found that just one vigorous bout of exercise can bring immediate protection against cardiovascular disease.

The researchers found that this was triggered through a mechanism that’s called “cardiovascular preconditioning.” Vigorous exercise seems to rapidly “train” the heart, and this training offers protection against future cardiovascular damage.

Ischemic preconditioning from vigorous exercise protects against cardiovascular disease

It’s been widely known that regular exercise over time protects the heart by strengthening cardiovascular functioning. However, the discovery that improvements can occur within a short amount of time was more surprising to observe. In fact, just a single workout showed clinically significant benefits in the hours following it.

The researchers believe this is due to ischemic preconditioning, also known as cardiovascular preconditioning. This is a type of exercising that repeatedly exposes the heart to non-life-threatening ischemia episodes; that is, an inadequate blood supply to the heart for brief periods of time. Doing so makes the heart stronger and more resistant to future, more serious ischemia episodes.

Benefits of exercise bring protection from cardiovascular disease in just one session

While this may seem paradoxical, the concept of ischemic preconditioning has actually been around since the mid-1980s. One of the known ways to induce this effect is through exercise, and it is cardioprotective in nature. The researchers hope to substantiate this effect even further and establish a basis for this approach to strengthening the heart and boosting protection against cardiovascular disease.

The scientists determined that between one and three workouts each week can offer strong protection of the heart. However, just one workout session brings cardiovascular protection for two to three hours afterward. Interestingly, even stronger and more long-lasting effects were found 24 hours later. The study results were published in the journal JAMA Cardiology.

Not surprisingly, continuing regular exercise led to the most significant benefits. This had the effect of reactivating the protective pathways, strengthening them and creating an ongoing pattern of beneficial effects that kept the heart strong. While aging and weight gain can take their toll on the heart, exercise has an extremely restorative effect.

The benefits of exercise keeps growing

The team believes the findings could lead to more insights on a process called prehabilitation, which refers to an optimized amount of physical activity prescribed in the time leading up to a cardiac intervention to improve outcomes.

Meanwhile, the research results should inspire everyone to exercise. It is extremely beneficial in protecting yourself against disease and promoting a higher quality of life. While regular exercise is best, as this research shows, even a small amount can contribute to good health.

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