From Simon Clarke
Simon Clarke

How can a treadmill help you fighting cardiovascular diseases?

Health is Wealth:

Why is necessary to be physically active to have a healthy life

A human body is a complexed mechanism built of small connected parts and powered by a strong engine. This engine is your heart – the most important muscle you have to build by exercises. Just like every engine, a heart needs the energy to work and to keep your body working. It is necessary to be physically active to keep your blood flowing through your veins.

Why? The energy can never be lost or destroyed, it can be also be transferred from one form to another. What does that mean? It means that energy you invest in doing some exercises today will give more energy to your whole organism tomorrow. If you make an effort and you get tired of doing something today, tomorrow it will be mush easier and it will require less energy – it is that simple and logical!

Let’s see some real medical confirmations. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that regular physical activity can reduce a big number of different conditions: cardiovascular diseases, cholesterol and triglyceride problems, diabetes (type 2), obesity, metabolic and digestion issues, osteoporosis and other bone diseases, breast and colon cancer, mood and mental disorders (such as depression, anxiety, insomnia etc). Long story short: it can increase your chances for living longer. It can improve the overall health of your organism, and it can help you fighting these serious chronical diseases. Regarding young people, children and adolescents from 6 to 17 years, it is recommended by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for them to have at least 60 minutes of physical activity at daily basis because it is the only way for a young body to develop correctly. The regular physical activity in that age is necessary for building healthy and strong bones and muscles, and to control weight and help fighting stress issues – which is frequently present at adolescence. Also, studies indicate that a physically active child becomes a physically active adult.

The whole process of regular physical activity is like a circle – it makes you tired, so your sleep is better, you wake up with more strength and healthier thoughts, so you can use more energy tomorrow; in that way you boost your metabolism, so you become fitter, and of course, you get more self-esteem and you improve the quality of your life – you become healthier and happier.

Cardiovascular diseases – Threat number 1 !

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the number one cause of death in the world, with over 17 millions of deaths each year (World Health Organization, Global Atlas on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Control, 2011). This terrifying number makes 80% of the all possible death causes. The top five countries in the world with the biggest numbers of heart diseases caused deaths are Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Argentina, and Hungary. In the United States, most affected countries are Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Louisiana. Simply said: countries with low (or lower middle) life standards.

Over 15 million people suffer stroke each year, and 6 millions of them don’t survive it. It happens mostly to people elder from 60 years, but it doesn’t mean that younger people are protected! The stroke is the number two leading cause (after dementia) of disability in the world, so the fatal epilog doesn’t necessary have to be the worst scenario in each case.

What precisely are cardiovascular diseases? These dangerous diseases are all issues related to the cardiac muscle (CARDIO) and blood vessels (VASCULAtuRe): infections, genetic defects, chronical conditions. These problems are mostly called heart diseases, and they are very related to modern lifestyle: stress, bad nutrition, and physical inactivity.

Please, stand up!

A sedentary lifestyle is taking over us: the modern life is imposing the constant need for computer – at a job and at home. We sit while we are working, while we are watching TVor using the computer, we sit in our cars, on a bus or plane, and in cafes. It is nearly the whole day. In those conditions, a human body suffer from a  backache and headache at daily basis, and unfortunately, with time those acute problems are growing into more serious  chronical diseases. A lifestyle tightly attached to a chair is one of the top five biggest factors causing cardiovascular diseases.

Before the modern society realizes lives will become static. A lack of movement will weaken a humans` bones and muscles, it will decrease blood flow and it will make a problem with general health. According to Dr. James A. Levine, the director of the Mayo Clinic and the inventor of the Treadmill Desk: “our bodies are breaking down from obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, depression, and the cascade of health ills and everyday malaise that come from what scientists have named sitting disease“. It is a modern type of a deathly disease, and its main characteristic is that people are not even fighting against it.

Howtreadmill exercisescan help you prevent cardiovascular diseases

Studies show that running on a treadmill and running on the road can have the same intensity and the same results. A treadmill may be a good solution for people who live in countries with lower temperatures, or for people who want to use their workout time for something more: you can run or walk on a treadmill while watching TV or surfing the Internet. Also, nowadays, there is a chance to use treadmill even in offices, so you can exercise and do your job at the same time. And why running or walking on a treadmill can make your heart stronger and healthier?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicates that your heart needs need at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, but those exercises don’t need to be too hard, you can do good for your heart working on a moderate intensity level. Walking or easy jogging can do just fine for beginners. In order to keep any muscle on your body in its best shape, you must put that muscle to work more than normally. When you are walking, jogging or running, your heart beats faster, and it pumps blood faster through your veins. So it increases the blood pressure and it increases the level of the oxygen and nutrients in organs. Just like any other muscle, workout makes it stronger, and how does it make it healthier? A stronger heart is  more efficient, and with time it will be able to send more blood with a lower number of beats (in the state of calm – when you’re not on your treadmill). And the lower number of beats decreases the pressure and saves the energy.

Besides these obvious and logical physical training for your heart that can help you fighting cardiovascular diseases, treadmill exercises can also help you reducing bad cholesterol level (LDL) – which is frequently responsible for heart diseases. How? The workout can stimulate enzymes responsible for making LDL move out from your blood. So when the blood is pumping faster through your veins, those enzymes are pushing cholesterol out.

The third reason for you to use a treadmill to fight cardiovascular diseases is the stress: a modern obesity trigger. The stress you feel (consciously or unconsciously) is related to a hormone which moves the fat right to your abdomen, and abdominal obesity can increase your cholesterol level and increase the risk for suffering heart diseases.

Prepare for your treadmill workout:

What a beginner you should know?

Just like other exercises, treadmill exercises also need to be done correctly to get the right results. If you want to start using a treadmill in a gym, you should ask your trainer for some good advice. But if you bought a treadmill for your home, this is what you should do before you start running or walking:

o    Don’t focus on speed / distance / time – those are just numbers. Focus on your heart rate! It is the only right way for you to know how your most important muscle is working. Track your pulse by touching your index and count the number of beats per a minute, or watching your pulse tracking monitor.

o    Set your limits. In general, your maximum heart rate while running should be a number you get when you minor the number 220 for a number of your age. But, take a caution, those are general instructions, you should never cross your own limits! Push yourself while you are feeling well and strong.

o    Set your target. The heart rate you want to get should be from 60% to 80% of  your upper limit heart rate.

o    Warm up before you start running. Easy walking, stretching or some other exercises could help you.

o    Don’t do your cardio exercise for too long because you can get opposite effects. Shorter training with higher intensity will get you the right results: long training with low intensity will inform your cardiovascular system to force itself as little as possible just to be able to persist longer.

o    Mix it up! Walk and run, walk and run. It will keep your heart in alacrity.

o    Don’t give up! You eat unhealthy food, you are stressed the most of the time, you don’t sleep enough – and your heart didn’t give up on you. So, show some gratitude.