How does exercise affect Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)?
Regular moderate-intensity exercise has many benefits for people with CHD: it prevents the blood vessels from narrowing further (anti-atherosclerotic), prevents blood clotting (anti-thrombotic), helps deliver blood to the heart (anti-ischaemic), and helps to maintain a normal heart rhythm (anti-arrhythmic). These changes reduce the load on the heart at rest and during exercise, which helps to lessen some of the symptoms as well as decrease the risk of death from CHD. Additional benefits from exercise in those with CHD include: improved physical function and psychological wellbeing, and favourable changes in blood pressure, HDL cholesterol and insulin sensitivity.
People with heart disease should speak to their GP or an Accredited Exercise Physiologist before taking up exercise.