Sport is good for health: a cardiologist advises

However, we decided to take advantage of the vast knowledge of the doctor and find out what effect on one of the most important organs in the human body – the heart – has sports. We invite you to read it extensively – it’s really worth it!

What effect does physical activity have on our heart, given moderate intense exercise?

Regular moderate-intensity physical training improves heart performance, quality, and life expectancy. During exercise, contractility and heart rate increase, resulting in faster blood flow through skeletal muscles, the heart, and skin. Training the heart consists in increasing the mass of myocardial cells and improving microcirculation, enlarging the heart cavities, and lowering the resting heart rate. The rate of increase in heart rate during exercise is lower in trained people. In addition, the diastolic function of the heart improves. Blood pressure also changes. The value of systolic pressure increases in proportion to the intensity of exercise, while the response of diastolic pressure depends on the type of exercise performed. These changes lead to increased heart efficiency and effectiveness – it is possible to make a specific effort with less oxygen consumption. In long-term follow-up, there is an add to in parasympathetic tone, a reduction in heart rate, and resting blood pressure, especially in individuals with baseline elevations.


In what cases should a cardiologist be consulted before taking up physical activity?

 Before you go to the cardiologist, it is worth consulting with a GP who will interview, examine, measure your blood pressure, perform an ECG, and order basic laboratory tests. Depending on the results obtained, he may recommend broadening the diagnosis and possibly referring to a specialist cardiologist. Always pay attention to any discomfort that occurs under the influence of physical activity. Symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, and fainting related to the effort certainly require cardiological consultation. Depending on the symptoms, echocardiography, 24-hour Halter ECG, and/or exercise testing may be required.

In general, regular, low-intensity physical exercise in a healthy person, i.e., 30-45 minutes a day, 4-5 times a week, does not require extended cardio logical diagnostics, especially if it is well tolerated. However, intense physical effort, and especially the effort associated with competition, which undoubtedly takes place during mass runs, because everyone wants to “break at least their personal record,” requires in-depth diagnostics, which should be repeated periodically. Exercise is also recommended in patients with heart disease, after myocardial infarction, heart failure, after surgery, and other diseases of the cardiovascular system; however, in this case, the degree of exercise load should be selected individually after consulting a cardiologist or a specialist scope of cardiac rehabilitation. It is important to remember that no medicine can replace movement.