Why the human heart thrives with exercise

But your heart also adapts over your lifetime depending on what type of exercise you do — or don’t do.

The heart’s main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, reflects the type of activity a person typically does. The left ventricles of the endurance runners were longer, larger, and more elastic than average (and therefore able to cope with large volumes of blood). The hearts of the football linemen, on the other hand, were more adapted to short, intense bouts of exercise that reflects their strength training. The walls of their left ventricles were thicker and less flexible, allowing them to cope better with pressure rather than volume.

Inactivity harms the heart

However, the group of men who didn’t exercise ended up being the most important part of the story with respect to health lessons, says Dr. Baggish. These men, all in their 20s and 30s, didn’t have any traditional heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure. But their untrained hearts appeared more apelike, with thicker and less flexible walls.

“If you don’t do any physical activity, you don’t push large amounts of blood through your heart and blood vessels on a daily basis. Both the heart and blood vessels start to stiffen,” explains Dr. Baggish. It creates a vicious circle: the less you move, the less you’ll be able to do the type of exercise that keeps you healthy.

“Their hearts represent how the heart has naturally evolved to function — the pure form of a human heart, if you will,” he says.

But your heart also adapts over your lifetime depending on what type of exercise you do — or don’t do.

The heart’s main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, reflects the type of activity a person typically does. The left ventricles of the endurance runners were longer, larger, and more elastic than average (and therefore able to cope with large volumes of blood). The hearts of the football linemen, on the other hand, were more adapted to short, intense bouts of exercise that reflects their strength training. The walls of their left ventricles were thicker and less flexible, allowing them to cope better with pressure rather than volume.

Inactivity harms the heart

However, the group of men who didn’t exercise ended up being the most important part of the story with respect to health lessons, says Dr. Baggish. These men, all in their 20s and 30s, didn’t have any traditional heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure. But their untrained hearts appeared more apelike, with thicker and less flexible walls.

“If you don’t do any physical activity, you don’t push large amounts of blood through your heart and blood vessels on a daily basis. Both the heart and blood vessels start to stiffen,” explains Dr. Baggish. It creates a vicious circle: the less you move, the less you’ll be able to do the type of exercise that keeps you healthy.

Exercise helps prevent high blood pressure

These new findings suggest that the process of developing high blood pressure is set in motion years before it is first detected in a doctor’s office, Dr. Baggish says. Unfortunately, only about 20% of American adults get the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity. And about a third of adults have high blood pressure.

Even though it’s better to exercise throughout your life, it’s never too late to start. For many people, changing from being sedentary to active is hard and requires a real behavioral shift. “But the more we help people understand the underlying causes and implications of their choices, the better off we are,” says Dr. Baggish.

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4 NIV

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 NIV

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. Psalm 94:19 NIV

The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. Psalm 118:24 NIV

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11 NIV

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9 NIV

I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10 NIV

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. John 16:24 NIV

Recommended contacts for prayer request and Bible study

www.agapetemplesda.com

www.adventistontario.org

https://www.hopechannel.com/au/learn/courses

breathoflife.tv/

https://3abn.org/all-streams/3abn.html

http://www.nadadventist.org/article/15/contact-us

https://www.adventist.org/en/utility/contact/

It Is Written

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