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Heart Attack and Treatment With Exercise

Updated on February 8, 2016
Seek immediate medical attention with the first signs of a heart attack.
Seek immediate medical attention with the first signs of a heart attack.
This plaque prevents proper blood flow to the heart.
This plaque prevents proper blood flow to the heart.
If clot forms at the narrowed part, it completely block the blood flow causing heart attack
If clot forms at the narrowed part, it completely block the blood flow causing heart attack

Do you know atherosclerosis, cardiac disease, or heart attack is known as Cash Cow???? because the treatment is very expensive. So don’t be a Cash Cow and be heart healthy through heart healthy habits described in this article.


Atherosclerosis is the process by which fatty deposits, cholesterol, calcium, cellular waste products, and different other substances slowly build up on the inner lining of an artery leading it become narrow and hence preventing proper blood supply.


Due to atherosclerosis, the artery will get narrowed down and supply less oxygen and nutrients to the respective tissues to which it is connected and the lower oxygen and nutrient supply will in turn lead to loss of tissue function and eventually death of the cells and causes cardiac disease.


Because of atherosclerosis when the artery prevents blood to flow to a part of heart for long enough time that it causes damage to the heart muscle or that particular muscle dies, it is known as heart attack, a type of cardiac disease.


First of all, the endothelium (innermost layer of an artery) is damaged by free radicals (oxidation) which results in inflammation. Our body's response to this is to repair it like any other damage, and LDL, calcium, fibrin, and other materials get collected or snared in this damaged portion and hence atherosclerosis (plaque) forms narrowing the artery reducing blood supply to the respective organ. At times, a part of that plaque breaks and blood starts clotting in that portion. If that clot becomes large enough that it blocks the entire flow of blood or makes the artery extremely narrow that very minimal flow is there, it is known as heart attack which needs immediate medical attention to reopen the passage for restoration of blood flow.


It is proven with time and experience that exercise is good for our overall health especially, heart and lungs. But how it is good for heart attack patient and prevents atherosclerosis and cardiac disease is explained below:

Endothelium is the inner lining of our blood vessels which produces a substance called nitric oxide which in turn causes the blood vessels to dilate and also it protects from developing atherosclerosis (i.e., fatty or cholesterol buildup) and prevents thrombus formation. When we exercise (aerobic exercise or resistance training exercise), our heart needs more blood, so exercise stimulates the endothelium to produce nitric oxide and the blood vessels dilate efficiently to increase the blood flow and also at the same time nitric oxide protects the inner lining from forming fatty buildup.

With age and sedentary lifestyles, we cause damage to the endothelium (inner lining of our blood vessel) and fatty or cholesterol builds up, but with exercise we can reverse it.

Research has been done on athletes and sedentary individuals to know how exercise prevents heart attack or cardiac disease.

Athletes were taken from different genre like cyclists, triathlon, running, swimming and from various age groups , i.e., 27 to 70 years of age. It was established that the blood flow in the vessels' of older athletes were as well as the blood flow in the vessels' of younger athletes.

So, it was established that doing physical activity regularly protects our blood vessels from aging effects.


In traffic while driving when we face congested roads or signals, we take alternative routes to reach our destination. Similarly, our body makes collateral channels or new branches of blood vessels when we regularly and vigorously do aerobic exercises. During aerobic exercise, our body needs more and more blood to flow to carry more and more oxygen, so it develops alternative routes which we call collaterals. These collaterals often offset the side effects from a thrombus formation. Also, during blockages, our heart gets its supply through collaterals maintaining the steady supply of nutrients and oxygen to the heart thus minimizing the damage to heart muscles. Also well networked collateral circulatory system helps in recovering fast when a heart attack happens.


Just walking regularly for more than 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) a day reduces risk of heart disease. I think at least you have to do this to make yourself heart healthy. But the more you increase your walking or do different types of exercises (aerobic exercise and/or resistance training exercise), the more your heart becomes healthy and you prevent atherosclerosis.


My uncle (Mr. Somdutt Sharma, Paschim Vihar, Delhi, India) who suffered heart attack at the age of 62 opted for exercise regimen. He started with aerobic exercise and slowly shifted to power lifting which is resistance training exercise. He kept his regimen moving upward but very slowly and it became his passion. Now, he has won Commonwealth Power Lifting Gold Medal held in England. Also, he has won 1 gold and 2 silver in the masters' category in various athletic events held in Delhi, India. He is now participating in almost 5 to 10 events in a year and his medal count is growing leap and bounds.

He is now 65 and wants to achieve more medals and prove this world that it is possible for a heart attack patient to not only attain a healthy heart but a heart which can win him gold medals.

So, not only aerobic exercise but also resistance training exercise helps our heart becomes healthy and prevents our blood vessels from forming atherosclerosis and thrombus buildup, which in turn prevents heart attack.

NOTE: It is always nice to take supervision and guidance of a qualified medical practitioner before opting for any type of alternative therapy, exercise regimen, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or gym.


This is resistance training exercise which also helps getting a younger heart.
This is resistance training exercise which also helps getting a younger heart.

Do daily 30 minutes aerobic exercises to remain heart healthy


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    • pinto2011 profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks for the appreciation Robert Sacchi.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      3 years ago

      Good information,thank you.

    • pinto2011 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Hi moonlake! You are quite right in saying sometimes it comes due to hereditary or some other triggering effects like pollution, medications, etc., but still we can take care of our agility with exercise and diet.

    • moonlake profile image


      5 years ago from America

      I had heart attacks when I was 38 never ate fast food got plenty of exercise sometimes bad hearts come from family or other reasons doctors can't even figure out but it's always good like you say to exercise and watch diet.

    • pinto2011 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Hi moonlake! Thank your for appreciation to my article. First of all if we take care of body with a few exercise and dietary precaution, we can certainly avoid heart attack, as our heart is meant to keep on beating for much more longer duration than we the younger generation are damaging it with sedentary lifestyle and high sodium junk foods.

    • moonlake profile image


      5 years ago from America

      When I had a heart attack the first thing our doctor said " I hope you have good insurance this will be expensive." It was very expensive. Voted up on your hub.


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