About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Is Exercise Good for Heart?

by Adeline Dorcas on April 26, 2018 at 3:22 PM
Font : A-A+

Is Exercise Good for Heart?

Exercise can be beneficial for the healthy functioning of the heart. Regular exercise and physical activity can make the heart younger, finds a new study. The findings of the study are published in Nature Communications.

Doctors, health organizations, and the Surgeon General all agree that exercise is good for the heart -- but the reasons why are still not well understood.

Advertisement


In a new study performed in mice, researchers from the Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (HSCRB), Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS), and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) uncovered one reason why exercise might be beneficial: it stimulates the heart to make new muscle cells, both under normal conditions and after a heart attack.

The human heart has a relatively low capacity to regenerate itself. Young adults can renew around 1% of their heart muscle cells every year, and that rate decreases with age. Considering that losing heart cells is linked to heart failure, interventions that increase new heart cell formation have potential to prevent heart failure.
Advertisement

The two first authors on the study were Ana Vujic, Ph.D. of HSCRB, and Carolin Lerchenmüller, M.D. of MGH and HMS.

"We wanted to know whether there is a natural way to enhance the regenerative capacity of heart muscle cells," said Vujic. "So we decided to test the one intervention we already know to be safe and inexpensive: exercise."

A 5K race every day

To test the effects of exercise, the researchers gave one group of healthy mice voluntary access to a treadmill. When left to their own devices, the mice ran around five kilometers each day. The other healthy group had no such gym membership and remained sedentary.

To measure heart regeneration in the mice, the researchers administered a labeled chemical that was incorporated into newly made DNA as cells prepared to divide. By following the labeled DNA in the heart muscle, they could see where new cells were being produced.

The researchers found that the exercising mice made over four and a half times the number of new heart muscle cells than the mice without treadmill access.

The results were certainly significant -- but were they relevant? To find out, the researchers brought the experiment a little closer to home.

"We also wanted to test this in the disease setting of a heart attack, because our main interest is healing," said Vujic.

After experiencing a heart attack, mice with treadmill access still ran five kilometers a day, voluntarily. Compared to their sedentary counterparts, the exercising mice showed an increase in the area of heart tissue where new muscle cells were made.

The conclusion: in mice, exercise means regenerating heart tissue -- a lot.

"Make your heart younger"

The two senior authors behind the study were Richard Lee, M.D., Harvard Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, and Principal Faculty member of HSCI, and Anthony Rosenzweig, M.D., Paul Dudley White Professor of Medicine at HMS, Chief of the Cardiology Division at MGH, and Principal Faculty member of HSCI.

"Maintaining a healthy heart requires balancing the loss of heart muscle cells due to injury or aging with the regeneration or birth of new heart muscle cells. Our study suggests exercise can help tip the balance in favor of regeneration," said Rosenzweig.

"Our study shows that you might be able to make your heart younger by exercising more every day," said Lee.

Diving deeper

It's all very well to say that exercise is good for the heart -- but how does that actually work? To find out, the researchers plan to pinpoint which biological mechanisms link exercise with increased regenerative activity in the heart.

In this study, the researchers identified a specific biological pathway that is required for exercise to turn on cardiac regeneration. "Now we need to find the signals that are sufficient to turn this pathway on," said Rosenzweig.

"If we can turn on these pathways at just the right time, in the right people, then we can improve recovery after a heart attack," said Lee.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccines May Improve Mental Health
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Tips to Live Longer Exercise and Fitness Lifestyle Modification: No Big Deal! Body Types and Befitting Workouts Exercise To Gain Weight Top Health Tips to Overcome Tiredness Fitness Through Density Training Program Exercises to Grow Taller Exercise 

Recommended Reading
Heart Attack- Lifestyle risks
Heart attack is the death of the heart muscle due to loss of blood supply. Simple guidelines to ......
Who Else Wants to Know How Walking Helps Heart and Brain?
Walking early morning would improve your health as it helps heart and brain to function properly. .....
Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition in which the heart fails to work adequately as a pump ...
Exercise for Seniors
Poor health and recurrent illnesses can severely compromise quality of life for seniors. But with .....
Body Types and Befitting Workouts
Workout and diet which is well suited for a pear shaped body....
Exercise
It is important for us to understand the power of daily exercise. Only then can we motivate ourselve...
Exercise and Fitness
Exercise is about revamping your lifestyle, not just weight loss. Exercise to get healthy – that way...
Exercise To Gain Weight
Are you underweight and want to know how to gain weight? Exercise or workouts can help you gain weig...
Exercises to Grow Taller
An article that highlights on the list of exercises that aids to grow taller....
Fitness through Density Training Program
Density Training is an effective weight training workout which helps to quickly build muscle and los...
Lifestyle Modification: No Big Deal!
Simple and practically possible lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in improving our health...
Tips to Live Longer
Though life is temporary and short, it is possible to maximize the span of our existence by living h...
Top Health Tips to Overcome Tiredness
If you follow a healthy lifestyle and still feel tired, you should rule out all possible medical cau...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use