A healthy heart keeps us alive. To protect it, we should exercise regularly. This is also the intention of many people in Germany. FOCUS online explains how much exercise the experts at the German Heart Foundation recommend.
The heart is the most important organ without which we would not be able to live. Every day it pumps up to 7000 liters of blood and thus oxygen and nutrients through the entire body without a break – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, throughout life.
There are a number of things we can and should do to support the heart in its work. After all, cardiovascular diseases are among the most common diseases worldwide. In Germany, too, they are the number one cause of death. According to the health insurance company AOK, 340,000 people die from it every year. So a good resolution this year could be to move more – simply and solely for the heart. After all, just a brisk ten-minute walk every day reduces your personal risk of cardiovascular disease by 20 percent.
A PDF from FOCUS online – diseases of the cardiovascular system are among the most common in Germany. Even the simplest things can reduce the risk of a heart attack, for example. Our e-paper tells you how to keep your heart and circulation healthy.
The positive effect of exercise on the heart is now well documented. Even heart patients should integrate regular endurance units into their everyday life to support further therapy measures. However, if you have previous illnesses or are overweight, do the following first:
Ideally, the first training for high-risk patients also takes place under medical supervision. “Heart patients should discuss their resilience with their doctor beforehand. This also applies to people without illness after a long break without sporting activity,” emphasizes cardiologist Bernhard Schwaab, board member of the German Heart Foundation and chief physician of the Curschmann Clinic on Timmendorfer Strand.
The positive effects of exercise on the cardiovascular system can be seen on several levels. Endurance units …
A trained heart works much more economically, and the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart failure decreases.
Schwaab recommends an activity level of 150 to 300 minutes per week for people over the age of 65. Incidentally, this corresponds to the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). As Schwaab explains, the movements should be sustained and moderately strenuous. The following sports meet the criteria:
By the way: If you prefer shorter and therefore more intensive training, you can do that too. Here, 75 to 150 minutes per week is a good guideline, but the movement should be significantly more strenuous and endurance-oriented. The following sports meet the criteria:
Alternatively, both variants can be combined. Slowly increase your endurance and get your body and heart used to the movement in small steps. For beginners, a training duration of ten to 30 minutes in the first few weeks can be completely sufficient. Then the length and only later the intensity of the units can be slowly increased.
Train in a way that you can work up a sweat but still be able to have a good conversation. Cardiac patients should discuss their exercise tolerance with their doctor.
It is also important to combine endurance training two days a week with light strength training to strengthen the muscles. These include:
People over the age of 65 should also integrate balance and coordination exercises three days a week. They are used to prevent falls.
In addition to the actual training, the activity level can also be increased in everyday life. In this case, it is important to establish and maintain new, positive routines. “That’s usually difficult,” Schwaab knows and recommends: “It’s often helpful to set up fixed anchor points in your living environment and to look for fellow campaigners: regular running, walking or heart groups in a club, cooking together with the family several times or with friends at home and, for smokers, exchanging views with ex-smokers in the self-help group.”
Ideas for more movement in everyday life are:
“It is best to make your everyday life as active as possible by incorporating short walks into the day, riding your bike to the office or to go shopping instead of taking the car or e-scooter, climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator, watching the exciting film on watching on the home trainer in the evening or making phone calls while standing,” advises Schwaab.
Regular exercise not only ensures a healthy heart, but also brings numerous other benefits for body and soul. These include:
If those aren’t enough reasons to finally make your resolutions a reality this year.
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