Having an inclination to look younger and age slower? Maybe, you have the inclination to keep your heart younger as well! There might be innumerous creams, lotions and other stuffs marketed to seduce people into buying anti-ageing products. Where do we stand in terms of regenerating heart muscle cells and renewing heart health?
Be Smart, Keep Yourself Young at Heart
Heart attacks are not a pleasant sight to watch! It is in fact a scary experience, be it whether you’re facing the issue or you are with someone who is experiencing the attack. A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is reduced severely or even nulled. The specific heart muscle that’s lost blood flow is stuck with injury. The extent of damage to the heart muscle depends on the area covered by the blocked artery and also the time between the attack and start of treatment.
Heart muscles heal by forming scar tissue and the healing process takes a couple of weeks. These scar tissues don’t pump good enough as other healthy tissues. The difference in the pumping capability is determined by the size and location of the scar tissue. The quantity of time taken to heal depends on the impact of the attack and the individual’s healing capability. While it normally takes around 8 weeks for the heart muscle to heal there has been research studies showing that exercise helps in healing the muscles at a better adept rate comparatively.
When an individual performs exercises at the correct time for a correct duration there are chances of reversing the ageing of heart and blood vessels. Arteries carry blood and these become stiff when we don’t lubricate it with the required amount of exercise. Unhealthy lifestyle practices and sedentary life are worse contributors of stiffening of arteries. Studies show that compared to those who exercised for 2-3 times a week, individuals who exercised for more than 4 times every week had healthier arteries.
Enabling Development of New Heart Muscle Cells
Every heart attack patient is required to create new heart muscle cells to heal. It is no secret that physical activity and exercise are good for the heart but the lingering question of ‘why’ still remains a mystery. A research team now has one of the many reasons why exercise is good for the heart-it stimulates the heart to make new muscle cells-with or without a heart attack.
Generally, the human heart has less capacity to regenerate comparatively. While youngsters can regenerate 1% of their heart muscle cells annually the same decreases as a person grows old. This decrease is greatly associated with increased risk of heart failure and we need to curb this risk by bringing in ways to increase heart cell formation. Exercising is a great and inexpensive way to keep your health at its best. When a group of researchers analyzed different ways to bring about an increase in heart cell formation the first thing that struck their mind was exercise. They decided to put it into test on a group of healthy mice which were allowed to run on a treadmill for about five kilometers every day. Another group of healthy mice were not allowed such actions and remained sedentary. The team found that the healthy group of mice which exercised produced over 4.5 times the number of new heart muscle cells compared to the sedentary group. So, we are now assured that exercise promotes growth of healthy heart muscle cells but what about those who have experienced a heart attack?
To check this, the research team again checked on a group of mice that had experienced a heart attack. This group ran 5 kilometers and when they were compared to their sedentary counterparts, were shown to exhibit improvement in the area of heart tissue where new muscle cells were formed.
The concept is simple-if you wish to maintain heart health you need to compensate for the loss of heart muscle cells due to injury or ageing by provoking the birth of new heart muscle cells. The study above proves that its practically possible to make the heart younger by exercising more daily. Along with exercise please ensure to follow a healthy diet schedule to protect your heart. Get in touch with reputed dietitians and nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com to get the best suggestions and recommendation in terms of eating habits and physical activity plans.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.
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