The ONE thing you can do to keep a healthy heart…

exerciseIf you read my blog post yesterday, I talked about jogging and the possible negative effects of this repetitious training on your heart.

I also mentioned that progressive short intense exertion periods with appropriate rest periods can help to build up a critical heart reserve capacity – it will make your heart stronger and more able to deal with stressful situations.

So today, I’ll tell you how you can help yourself build a stronger heart. Here goes…

Reverse Heart Disease

Most heart attacks are caused by sudden demands placed on the heart. That’s why it is so important to condition your heart the right way. Building reserve capacity is critical. It protects you from the risks of having a heart attack. The long durational cardio (constant jogging) and excessive aerobic training (the same old aerobics class) can actually shrink your heart and reduce its capacity to adjust to changing demands.

It is crucial to build up that critical reserve capacity and you can do this by changing your training methods by incorporating short intense exertion periods (intervals) with appropriate rest periods (active rest). This type of training has many other benefits too, the main one being effective burning of body fat – basically, you shed your body fat much more efficiently.

Not only does this new type of training build a stronger heart, it also increases your lung capacity – this is VITAL! Here’s why…

Lung Volume

By the time you reach 70 or 80, over half of your lung capacity is completely gone. Simply stated, all other things being equal, the greater your lung power, the longer you live. Having no lung reserve power means you can’t survive giving up any lung space to infection.

Smaller lungs mean a weak immune system and a loss of oxygen to your entire body. The European Society of Cardiology reported that even a moderate decline of lung volume increases your risk of heart disease by 200%.

The key to expanding your lung volume is creating an oxygen debt (an oxygen debt occurs when you ask your lungs for more oxygen than they can give you in that moment.) After coming out of an intense exertion interval during a workout, you’ll start to pant. Every time you pant, you’re triggering a response to increase your lung volume. That rapid-fire breathing will trigger chemical and hormonal changes that stimulate your lungs to grow and expand bigger, better and faster next time.

Recovery periods in between exertion periods should ensure your heart rate and breath slow down. When you feel rested, move to the next exertion period. The idea is to workout at a rate that is very challenging for you at your current lung power but keep it brief during your exertion periods.

So, to summarise, jogging at the same pace regularly will most certainly downsize your heart and lung capacity and not only that, but your joints will probably suffer too – the constant pounding on the pavements or on the treadmill.

However, performing progressive interval training (with appropriate rest periods) will increase your heart and lung capacity and make you fitter and more importantly, could add healthy years to your life.

In my next blog post, I’ll be talking about the effects of interval training on your fat loss goals.

Stay tuned…

Ps/ If you want to ask me about the training I’m talking about and you’re interested in starting an exercise programme, email or call me on or 07990583034.