At the ‘heart’ of exercise

When working out after a long gap, condition your routine to avoid overstressing the organ responsible for pumping blood

By Author  |  Published: 10th Sep 2019  4:03 pm

The heart may represent a strong emotion, its shape I mean, but it’s no valentine, it’s more pear shaped. It is no delicate organ, and tougher than any muscle one can think of. In a lifetime it pumps 30,000 tonnes of blood and works twice as hard as the leg muscles of a sprinter or the shoulder muscles of a heavyweight boxer.

Any muscle of the human body would turn to jelly, if they had to work as much. When asleep a large percentage of capillaries are inactive and hence the heart rests due to which the heart beat slows down from a normal 72-55 beats per minute. It works on the ignition system provided by the brain very much like the ignition of a car.

Many reasons of heart attack are accredited to genes, but the fact remains that genetics can sprout only if an affable environment is provided, i.e, to make it simpler, I would say that a seed to realise itself into a plant needs to be sowed in the earth, similarly heredity to lead into a heart attack needs an environment of bad eating habits and a bad lifestyle. Regular exercise causes new pathways to develop, then if one artery shuts down, there are others to nourish it.

Contrary to popular belief, sweat is not a necessary sign that you are being good to your heart. Exercise progression will increase blood flow and strengthen the heart muscle. Visual muscles are not the only muscles, your arteries have muscles too, they contract and relax to divert blood from less important areas and divert it to areas of higher need. During exercise, blood flow is shunted away from the digestive system and directed towards the muscular system because of which those who have fed on fat and protein as pre-workout meal will throw up.

Cardio as a term used by many exercise enthusiasts does not fit the subject appropriately, rather, cardiovascular would be appropriate as omitting vascular from the terminology is like forgetting the system of blood vessels that carry blood, nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.

Exercise within your target heart rate to be safe and i.e., subtract your age from 220(Maximum heart beat level) and calculate 80 percent of that figure, which when derived will give you an optimum figure to work out at. The heart likes consistent exercise, not weekend binges. Like any muscle, it becomes conditioned over time through regular exercise. Sudden intense activity after several days of inactivity puts it into dangerous stress.