Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is still the leading cause of death for adults worldwide. CVD accounts for at least 26% of deaths every year in the United States (1). If you or a loved one have suffered a heart attack recently, or are considered at-risk, a crucial step in combatting cardiovascular disease is regular physical activity.

            Aerobic Training was the original prescription for anyone suffering from or at risk for CVD. According to the American College of Sports Medicine thirty minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity most days per week obtained health benefits. Aerobic exercise is a great way to improve VO2 max, which for those of you that don’t speak chemistry is maximum oxygen uptake. However, performing aerobic exercises exclusively can be quite limiting and is impractical for someone recovering from major surgeries correlated to CVD. In addition to aerobic exercise, performing resistance training can also be beneficial for someone recovering from CVD. Resistance training was thought to be detrimental to patients with CVD. It is now a crucial component in recovery. Resistance training is a way to induce muscular contraction which builds strength, anaerobic endurance, the size of skeletal muscles, and bone density.  Finally, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has shown far better health benefits in patients with CVD or at risk. HIIT advantages over aerobic training include maximum results in shorter bouts of time and the amount of physiological adaptations surpass aerobic exercise alone, this statement is from research on relatively stable, low-risk individuals with CVD (1).

            CVD can be difficult to fight but with more ways than ever before to combat the disease readily available to you the probability of leading a healthier life without CVD is higher than in the past.



(1)Astorino, Todd A., and Matt M. Schubert. “Exercise Programming for Cardiovascular Disease.” Strength & Conditioning Journal (2012).

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