Heart is one of the most important organs in the entire human body. It is actually a pump, composed of muscles which circulate blood throughout the body, beating approximately 72 times per minute. About the size of its owner’s clenched fist, the heart works continuously. It keeps all the body parts supplied with oxygen and nutrients, while clearing away harmful waste matter. The organ sits in the middle of the chest, behind the breastbone and between the lungs, in a moistened chamber that is protected all round by the rib cage. If the heart ever ceases to pump blood, the body begins to shut down. It is therefore essential to maintain a healthy heart, which can be achieved by following a good lifestyle with proper diet and regular physical activities. Exercise plays the biggest role in strengthening the heart muscles. People who are inactive are twice as likely to suffer from heart disease as those who are physically active.
According to a study done by researchers at the University of Maryland in the US, exercise could be just as important for heart health as controlled cholesterol and a healthy diet. Just 30 minutes of running on a treadmill can reshape your damaged heart tissue.
The findings showed that just a single session of endurance exercise – activities that increase breathing and heart rate such as walking, jogging, swimming – increased the expression of genes that are used to repair damaged DNA and help remodel heart tissue. “The genes that are important for genome stability are unregulated in the heart tissue after a single bout of endurance exercise. This may contribute to the protective effects of exercise on cardiovascular health,” said Stephen Roth, Professor at the University of Maryland.
The study was published in the journal Experimental Physiology. The scientists observed the hearts of mice, which ran for half an hour on a treadmill. The results are also applicable to humans since these genes are regulated in a similar way in humans, the researchers noted. The study may be important for understanding how exercise provides a protective effect on the heart. By understanding this process and basic heart biology, future research may lead to increased life expectancy and drug-free cures for chronic heart problems, including high blood pressure.
This study might prove to be a table turner for the patients of chronic heart diseases, hence increasing their life expectancy and physical fitness. Endurance workout and cardiovascular activities may become a drug-free and needle-less cure for cardio patients.
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