Exercise is one of the best ways to build up effective protection against heart disease. For example, one hour of endurance sports per week can almost halve the risk of heart disease. We give tips on how to enjoy endurance sports while doing something for your heart health.
Tips for beginners and returnees
"Because regular physical exercise lowers blood lipids, blood sugar and blood pressure, dilates the vessels, increases the reserve capacity of the heart, slows down the appetite and reduces the body weight, " explains Prof. Dr. med. med. Hans-Jürgen Becker, former CEO of the German Heart Foundation. He therefore calls for the mild spring temperatures to be used for sports activities.
Anyone new to endurance sports should first think about which sports they really feel like. If you do not enjoy jogging, you can choose between swimming, cycling, hiking or Nordic walking. The motivation to endurance sports can be promoted by adding value to variety, so the selected routes as well as the loads regularly varied.
Slowly increase training
Beginners as well as returnees often tend to overestimate their performance at the start of training, but this can lead to health problems. The rule of thumb is to jog, jog, swim or cycle so fast that you can start sweating but have a good time. So a maximum training period of 10 to 30 minutes in the first few weeks is often quite sufficient. As a rule, it is always necessary to approach higher training levels slowly so as not to overload the joints and the cardiovascular system.
Success can often be achieved with relatively little training, as scientific studies show. Thus, the risk of developing heart disease can be reduced by more than 40 percent with just one hour of jogging a week. From a medical point of view, four to five weekly training sessions of 30 to 45 minutes are considered optimal for achieving effective protection against heart disease in the long term.
Medical check in advance
Beginners and returnees should seek medical attention before the first training session. For example, one can use the official health check with the family doctor, whose costs are taken over by the health insurance companies every two years from the age of 35. "Even existing heart disease is usually no reason to abstain from endurance sports, " says Prof. Becker. On the contrary: Many heart patients today even expressly endurance sports advised.
However, people with heart disease should consult with their doctor to find out which physical burdens are ideal and which limits should not be exceeded.