A new study published in the American Journal of Physiology–Heart and Circulatory Physiology investigates whether regular exercise helps the heart even after a heart attack occurs.
It is well established that exercise promotes heart health but since other lifestyle factors also cause heart disease, regular physical activity may not be enough to prevent heart attacks. This new study examines how exercise can aid recovery after heart attack.
Researchers from Germany and Luxembourg investigated whether aerobic exercise could reduce the scarring, thinning and structural changes that normally occur after a heart attack, improving recovery success in physically active individuals.
During the study, mice were made to run on a wheel regularly for six weeks prior to heart attack induction. They then resumed activity five days after the heart attack and continued to exercise for four more weeks. The findings showed that exercising mice had less heart attack-induced scarring, thinning and inflammation as compared to sedentary mice.
The researchers thus suggest that exercising regularly before and soon after heart attack could ameliorate the structural changes associated with poor outcomes. “Our results suggest that the re-initiation of exercise can be recommended to patients relatively early” after heart attack, the researchers wrote.
Source: American Physiological Society
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