Mend a ‘broken’ heart with exercise

Posted: 20th February 2013 by Get Fit Stay Fit in Uncategorized

PRESS RELEASE: February 2013

From: The New Zealand Register of Exercise Professionals

Leave the roses and chocolates for Valentines Day. The real way to show someone you love them is to get
him or her exercising. Why exercise? Behavioural risk factors (including unhealthy diet and physical inactivity) are responsible for about 80% of coronary heart disease worldwide, causing premature death. What better gift to give your loved ones than a longer, healthier life.

It’s a simple fact that a sedentary lifestyle is one of the major risk factors to heart disease, and one that is easily controlled through moderate regular exercise. If you want to save you and your loved ones from being a statistic, there is no better place to start than with a regular dose of good old fashioned exercise.

And the news just gets better. A recent research study from the Liverpool John Moores University found that exercise might actually repair heart tissue already damaged by heart disease. However, despite how simple preventing it can be, the statistics on heart disease in New Zealand show the message isn’t getting through.

In New Zealand:

  • 40% of deaths annually can be attributed to cardiovascular disease
  • A person dies every 90 minutes from coronary heart disease
  • One in twenty adults have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease

If you want to improve your fitness, how much and what type of exercise you do is important, but any exercise is beneficial and a good place to start, and you don’t have to exercise strenuously to achieve benefits initially. You will see bigger benefits by getting help and advice from a REPs Registered Exercise Professional who will have the knowledge and skill to help you make the most of your workouts, and help you exercise at the right intensity. They will ensure that your exercise is safe and appropriate for your current health and fitness level.

The good news is that:

  • For each hour of regular exercise you will gain about two hours of additional life expectancy, even if you don’t start until middle age.
  • Doing just 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, even in 10 minute chunks, can help to reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes, as well as reducing your risk of stroke and high blood pressure.

And what about those who already have heart disease?

Proving that it’s never too late to get started improving your health by exercising, let’s head back to that research study. The research reported in the European Heart Journal showed that regular and strenuous (enough to make you sweat) exercise, may lead to the development of new heart muscle. The researchers suggest that damage from heart disease or failure could be at least partially repaired through 30 minutes of running or cycling a day, at enough intensity to work up a sweat.

So there’s no better way, to show someone you love, that you care than getting off the couch and heading out for some exercise.

What is the NZ Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs)?
REPs is an independent non profit organisation administrating the New Zealand exercise professionals register to ensure that the public receive safe and effective exercise advice. Using REPs Registered Exercise Professionals is the “Warrant of Fitness Check” that an exercise professional and facility meet New Zealand and international standards to deliver exercise advice and instruction.

Sources and Links:

NZ heart foundation
World Health Organisation