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How Physical Exercises Protect the Heart

by: Stefan Simonovic

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself “do I exercise enough?” Did you ever think about how important staying active is, aside from helping Snapchat celebrities keeping their good looks and providing athletes with much-needed training prior to a competition?

If you have, we’re here to answer your question: one of the biggest and most important benefits of exercising is ensuring your heart remains in good health. In that name, let’s take a look at just how physical activity helps keep your heart at check.

Training for your Ticker

Apart from the brain, it’s our heart that has the most important role in our organism. By pumping blood, it ensures all organs, tissues and cells get enough oxygen and other valuable things which they require in order to run properly.

With that being said, the heart and everything related to it is something we should all pay attention to, as any problems that may occur in this organ usually immensely impact our general well-being.

As it happens, a study by the University of São Paulo in Brazil published a paper in Autophagy in August that explains just how regular aerobic exercise helps protect the heart and prevent any and all diseases that may befall it.

Julio Cesar Batista Ferreira, a professor at the Biomedical Science Institute at USP says: “Basically, we discovered that aerobic training facilitates the removal of dysfunctional mitochondria from heart cells.” In other words, exercising will result in your cells regulating how they get energy in a better way.

Out with the Old, In with the New

Ferreira explains that once dysfunctional mitochondria are removed via exercising, there’s an increase in the supply of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), which stores energy for cells. Furthermore, this process causes the production of toxic molecules that may damage cell structure to decrease.

He also adds that the goal here isn’t to create an exercise pill – instead, Ferreira and his team wish to locate and identify intracellular components that can be regulated by drugs in order to benefit the heart via exercising.

More Benefits? Yes, please!

Although it may not seem like, this is a pretty big and surprising discovery. Despite the fact that most of us are already aware that exercising is actually good for the heart (among other things), it wasn’t until now that we had any insight into the tiniest of processes that occur in our cardiovascular system while we exercise.

However, it has been proven many times that physical activity has a positive effect on the heart. For example, research has found that working out regularly can help with reducing body weight and blood pressure, increasing good cholesterol and lower the bad one, and with increasing insulin sensitivity.

For the most part, all of these benefits are closely related with our body’s ability to intake and actually use oxygen. The more you exercise, the more oxygen you’ll be able to take in and utilize (this is where the mitochondria comes into play), and the less your heart will be at risk.

About the author:

Stefan is a writer and a blogger in his spare time. He also works for First Beat Media, a company that mainly focuses on the online dating niche and similar services.

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