Longevity Exercise Physiology and Personal Training Drummoyne,EdgecliffMarrickville,Bella Vista, Randwick, Lindfield and Balmain previously explored the benefits of cardiovascular exercise and how much you should be partaking in – ‘Cardiovascular Exercise for Good Heart Health’ (add link). Today, we explore the benefits of exercise for the prevention and treatment of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) in particular.

What is CAD?

CAD is the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries usually caused by atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the build up of cholesterol and fatty deposits in the arteries, causing the narrowing pathway. This is a process that accumulates over years, typically due to poor lifestyle choices. Eventually, the reduced blood flow through the arteries decreases the blood and oxygen to the heart. This can cause symptoms such as angina (chest pain), shortness of breath, and a complete blockage causing a myocardial infarction (heart attack).

Treatment for extreme cases include medications, stents and coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). Exercise, along with lifestyle modifications such as good dietary habits and non-smoking, are highly valuable strategies to decrease the risk of a heart attack.

If you have been diagnosed with CAD, have had treatment via medications, stents and CABG, it is not too late to begin an exercise regimen. Exercise can improve your overall condition and prevent a recurrent event.

How can exercise help?

– Improves your aerobic capacity, in turn lowering your cardiac output, the amount of blood having to be pumped by the heart, for any given activity.

– Lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases HDL (good cholesterol) in your blood stream, therefore minimising atherosclerosis.

– Decreases blood pressure, the demand on the heart, long term.

– Improves insulin sensitivity by burning glycogen stored in muscles, which glucose from the bloodstream can then replenish those glycogen stores.

– Lowers body weight, decreasing the likelihood of other traits listed above.

What are the Exercise Guidelines?

The Australian Physical Activity guidelines recommend cardiovascular exercise for a minimum of 150 minutes per week at a moderate intensity per week, or 30 minutes on most days of the week, as well as a minimum of 2 resistance training sessions per week. Shorter bouts of activity have shown benefits for heart health so if you can’t meet those guidelines, start off with smaller amounts, such as 10 minutes, with the goal to achieve these recommendations over time. Safety is key, so don’t over do it initially.

Contact Longevity Exercise Physiology and Personal Training Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville, Randwick, Drummoyne, Balmain and Bella Vista on 1300 964 002 if you need assistance beginning exercise to decrease the risk of heart disease or begin post medical treatment.


Written by Angela Vitucci