Role of Exercise for Management and Prevention of Heart Disease

Today Longevity Exercise Physiology Drummoyne, EdgecliffMarrickvilleBella VistaRandwickPymble and Balmain discuss the importance of exercise and its ability to aid with the management and prevention of Heart Disease or Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).

Heart Disease is a term used to categorise a variety of cardiovascular complications experienced by individuals, particularly those in older demographics, ones with low physical activity levels and with a family history of poor cardiovascular health (Virani et al., 2020). These mentioned heart disease subsects include, arrythmias (heart rhythm), heart infections, atherosclerosis (blood flow limiting lesions), cardiomyopathy, congenital heart defects (defects individuals are born with) and coronary heart disease (Virani et al., 2020). More specifically, coronary heart disease also known as coronary artery disease occurs due to the gradual narrowing or blocking of the coronary crteries of the heart (Malakar et al., 2019). Gradual narrowing or blockages are a result of the build up of plaque, platelets, calcium, fibrous connective tissue and macrophages which leads to an obstruction of blood flow from the heart (Malakar et al., 2019). An obstruction of blood flow will coincide with a lowered concentration of oxygen and nutrients, ultimately leading to a reduced heart efficiency; potentially leading to greater cardiovascular issues, such as a heart attack.

Exercise has been shown to improve heart health and reduce the likelihood of developing various forms of heart disease, inclusive of Coronary Heart Disease

Exercise has been shown to improve heart health and reduce the likelihood of developing various forms of heart disease, inclusive of coronary heart disease (Wienbergen & Hambrecht, 2013). Both aerobic and resistive based workload is recommended to treat and prevent the advancement of poor cardiovascular health (Wienbergen & Hambrecht, 2013).  American College & Sports Medicine Guidelines suggest (Riebe, D., Ehrman, J. K., Liguori, G., & Magal, M. (2018):

  • Aerobic exercise
    • >150mins of moderate intensity (40%-60% Heart Rate Reserve) OR >75mins of Vigerous Intensity (60%-80% Heart Rate Reserve)
    • Can be completed in continuous bouts or intermittently
    • 3-5 days per week
    • Movements that use large muscle groups and that are prolonged; example, walking, swimming and bike riding
  • Resistance exercise
    • 2-3 days per week (non-consecutively)
    • 2-4 Sets
    • 8-12 Repetitions
    • 60-80% of 1 repetition maximum (RM)

Aerobic exercise places a greater strain onto the cardiovascular system when compared to that of resistance workload. To objectively account this, aerobic exercise may lower blood pressure by 5-7mmol while resistance can promote and improvement of 2-3mmol (Riebe, D., Ehrman, J. K., Liguori, G., & Magal, M. (2018). Although, resistance exercise is essential in promoting overall health, preventing the development of secondary conditions, maintain physical functioning and should compliment aerobic based work when managing coronary artery disease.

Implementing and complying to a long-term exercise program will provide the best health outcomes when preventing and managing coronary heart disease. Utilising the knowledge, skills and competencies of a university qualified allied health professional, particularly that of an Exercise Physiologist will enable for a tailored exercise prescription. An Exercise Physiologist will specifically design a program to your capabilities, keeping you in your realms of safety and to elicit positive adaptations to movement.

Contact Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Pymble, Marrickville, Randwick, Drummoyne, Balmain, Bella Vista on 1300 964 002 to enquire today.


American College of Sports, M., Riebe, D., Ehrman, J. K., Liguori, G., & Magal, M. (2018). ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription.

Malakar, A., Choudhury, D., Halder, B., Paul, P., Uddin, A., & Chakraborty, S. (2019). A review on coronary artery disease, its risk factors, and therapeutics. Journal Of Cellular Physiology234(10), 16812-16823.

Virani, S., Alonso, A., Benjamin, E., Bittencourt, M., Callaway, C., & Carson, A. et al. (2020). Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2020 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation141(9).

Wienbergen, H., & Hambrecht, R. (2013). Physical exercise and its effects on coronary artery disease. Current Opinion In Pharmacology13(2), 218-225.

Written by Kale Barton-Bissaker

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