Eating healthy, avoiding smoking and stress are undoubtedly important measures for heart health. But it is not enough: to keep our heart young, it is necessary to add a good dose of physical activity to our often sedentary days.
The bicycle from this point of view is a real cure-all. Pedaling in fact helps you stay young and makes you even happier: a sort of anti-stress that allows you to recharge your energy and increase self-confidence. It is no wonder, therefore, that more and more frequently, passionate of cycling tourism, who live the bicycle as the ideal way to enjoy nature and to achieve physical and mental well-being meet on the streets and go cycling together.
Benefits to heart and blood circulation.
Sports are generally classified according to the type of exercise performed: static or anaerobic and dynamic or aerobic.
Sports that are predominantly anaerobic are characterized by exercises that take place at very high intensity and for a few minutes (for example lifting weights, throwing the disc or running 400 m), and producing a rather stressful effect on the heart and the circulatory system.
Aerobic exercise, on the contrary, lasts over time (such as in swimming, in running races or in cycling) allowing the muscles to act with a moderate and constant workload. Aerobic activity like pedaling, produces beneficial effects on the cardio-circulatory system, allowing the heart to become stronger and more resistant. With pedaling, in fact, the cardiovascular system undergoes adaptations especially at the peripheral level (muscles and circulation) that allow the heart to work, at the same intensity of the exercise, always less.
To demonstrate this we must remember that the athletes’ heart undergoes real modifications: it increases its mass and therefore improves its pump function by optimizing the consumption of oxygen through the ‘bradycardia’, ie with a number of beats lower than normal . “But it is not necessary to become professional athletes a simple bike ride already allows a good workout for the heart and circulation.
The bicycle is in fact an excellent ally against cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack or stroke, because, pedaling, you fight the most dangerous elements for the heart, the so-called cardiovascular risk factors: you lose weight, it improves metabolism sugars and fats reduce blood pressure and “bad” cholesterol (LDL) in favor of “good” (HDL) “.
Pedaling in fact you lose weight, you improve the metabolism of sugars and fats, reduce the values of blood pressure and ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) in favor of the ‘good’ (HDL). It is also facilitated the circulation of the venous system, since the act of pedaling makes the walls of the veins of the legs more elastic with the rhythmic movement of the muscles, preventing swelling and venous thrombosis.
The exercise bike, an ideal ally for heart patients
Cycling is not only a means of prevention, but also a therapy for heart patients.
After an acute cardiac event, such as a myocardial infarction or a cardiac surgery, doctors often recommend a period of rehabilitation during which you set up a program that provides a personalized workload for each patient and that makes use of, among the other, using an exercise bike.
Exercise, if performed regularly and with adequate training, allows the heart to function at its best: as an engine that works at low revs. The exercise bike has the advantage of being able to be used all year round, even when the weather conditions are adverse.
Another advantage of the bike compared to the bicycle is the ‘dosability’ of the effort: any model allows to calibrate the workload, from mild to very intense, to train the heart with progressive work cycles until the return to a normal regime.
To obtain the best results it is important to pay attention to the breathing, which must always be commensurate and synchronized to the effort.
Rehabilitative motor activity, if practiced correctly, has not substantially any limitation, except laziness. Very often, for example, patients buy an exercise bike that after a few weeks becomes an unused instrument.
The goal of rehabilitation, on the other hand, is constancy in the long run. The activity carried out during the period of hospitalization in the rehabilitation cardiology department (on average 15 days) must in fact be considered the beginning of a broader program.
What really matters is the continuation of the exercise in the months and in the following years, following a personalized rehabilitation program combined with a careful clinical-therapeutic monitoring, a correct diet and, in general, a healthy lifestyle, placing a lot of attention to the control of cardiovascular risk factors (smoking, diabetes, arterial hypertension, dyslipidemia, obesity).
The bicycle also produces undeniable benefits on the mind, as well as on the body: it has been known since ancient Roman times, as the famous proverb recalls: “Mens sana in corpore sano”.
During the pedaling, in fact, the so-called wellness hormones are produced, the endorphins, which intervene in the regulation of mood and cause a euphoric and anxiolytic effect.
The advice for those approaching for the first time to cycling is to start gradually with quiet walks enjoying the view, away from traffic and cities. It is good to then practice it regularly, leaving at least 2-3 times a week to be able to reap the benefits that this activity can give to our body.
Cycling can be considered a complete sport with benefits for the body as a whole. In fact, it not only improves the cardiovascular system, but also the respiratory system, increasing the lung capacity, the locomotor system, toning and strengthening muscles, glucose and lipid metabolism and last but not least, the psyche.
And so the heart, often attacked by the stress of everyday life, can only benefit from well-being and tranquility. “
Let me know in the comments below.
Feel free to share on any of the Social Media listed below and start the "Conversation".
As always, thanks for popping in and see you soon.