Heart Attacks Are on the Rise: Here’s How Physical Therapy Can Improve Cardiovascular Endurance

As we emerge from the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, every individual has a unique opportunity to learn from the crisis and build a healthier future. The pandemic has been an unwelcome reminder that health and prosperity are inextricably linked and that everyone must go beyond rebuilding the economy to work toward advancing physical well-being. Along the way, we have learned some hard lessons; we have seen that underlying health issues can suddenly take a bigger toll, as people with preexisting health conditions are more likely to get seriously ill from COVID-19.

We have also seen a higher number of deaths due to cardiovascular disease in the last couple of years, severely more in 2020 as compared to 2019. Also, what’s unique is that when we think of someone having a heart attack, we probably picture a person in their late 50s or 60s. And that is typically the case. But over the last two years, more and more people who are younger than age 40 have suffered from heart attacks. 

Quick Facts: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), most cardiovascular diseases can be significantly prevented by raising awareness and encouraging lifestyle changes even among youngsters. People must learn to limit the use of tobacco and other harmful substances such as alcohol, they should also focus on reducing obesity with a healthier diet and increased physical activity. 

Physical therapy is one efficient practice that can significantly reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Clinical research also shows that physiotherapy substantially improves health after a heart attack and minimizes the risk of further cardiac events. Especially, with the current implications and lockdowns, it could be extremely difficult to visit your local gym.

Also, it’s challenging for individuals to start or return to exercise after a heart attack, which is why more people are relying on specialist physiotherapists for advice, guidance, treatment sessions at home, and encouragement to regain fitness and to reduce the risk of further problems. 

How Physical Therapy Can Improve Cardiovascular Endurance?

Physical therapy has proven to help people with Cardiovascular disease (CVD) control their symptoms and enhance their quality of life. It is also significantly beneficial for people who have no previous experience with cardiovascular disease. Because it can prevent such diseases and can improve cardiovascular endurance by getting people in the habit of being more active. 

Heart attacks are nowadays the cause of death even among regular gym-goers or even among young adults below the age of 30. Therefore, it is imperative that proper awareness is provided among youngsters, that simply going to the gym might not be enough to keep your heart healthy. To develop the perfect therapy for your body, you will have to leverage the help of specialized physical therapists. Even after a heart attack, the survivor will require significant lifestyle changes and constant monitoring by a physiotherapist to identify the risk factors and changes necessary to reduce the risk of another heart attack.

Similar to any physiotherapy treatment, the main goal of cardiovascular endurance therapy is to enhance the stability of muscles and improve how the body moves; eventually improving the performance of your heart. With the help of physiotherapy, you can improve the flow of blood more easily through the heart, open up vessels, and overall strengthen heart muscles.

Physiotherapy Exercises  

What sets physiotherapists apart is that they provide unique treatment based on the individual needs and not the usual treatments that everyone else follows. Physical therapists work based on your Heart Specialist and Doctors recommendations and make suitable exercises for your body and abilities. The exercises and physiotherapy routines will entirely vary for someone who is only at risk when compared to someone who is recovering from a major heart attack.

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Breathing Techniques

Physiotherapists can help you work on your breathing techniques to ensure that extra strain is not put on your heart muscles. Oftentimes, even after the first heart attack, patients do not emphasize their breathing techniques but focus more on other things such as diet and exercise. It might sound counterintuitive, but in order to improve your cardiovascular endurance, you need to leverage the help of an expert physiotherapist who can work with you on breathing exercises. This will significantly increase your breathing capacity and make sure that your muscles are more relaxed.

Building Strength and Body Balance

If your heart is not healthy enough, it can lead to reduced blood flow which can then have an adverse effect on other muscles in your body and their performance. Therefore, even before having a heart attack, if your heart is not capable of pumping a healthy flow of blood then it can leave muscles in the arms, face, and legs weak. A Physiotherapist can not only help improve cardiovascular endurance but can also boost your muscle strength. This will then increase your body’s ability to move and exercise more actively, hence, improving your cardiovascular endurance.

Physiotherapists can also help patients to recover their nervous system muscles in the peripheral vestibular system. These are considered to be the muscles present in the human spinal cord, and those in the brain. The vestibular system is essential because it regulates the flow of liquid in the inner ears, which pertains to better vision and body balance. If a nerve in this system has been harmed due to cardiovascular problems, it’s imperative that the patient get help from expert physiotherapists to rebalance and rehabilitate with physical therapy.

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Re-Introducing Cardio in the Routine

If the patient has suffered from a heart attack, physiotherapists will work with them to help them gain better control over their body movements and strengthen their muscles. Once this is completed, physical therapists will then move on to the most important factor of cardiovascular endurance; and that is to get the heart pumping efficiently. While practicing better breathing techniques and ligament movements will support the heart, it is essential that the amount of blood flow from the heart gradually increases.

Expert physiotherapists will create appropriate therapy routines that can ensure a healthy amount of blood is pumped by your heart. The routines begin with regular exercises that help with muscle stretching, then walking or a light jog which can significantly bring up the heart rate, followed by a much-required cool down where your heart gradually returns back to normal beating rate. 

Physiotherapists will constantly monitor your pulse and the amount of effort your body needs to push through these routines. With such monitoring activities, the physical therapists can make sure that proper modifications are made to the therapy routine to meet your body’s capability. The best part is that you do not have to regularly visit the physiotherapist’s office because almost all physiotherapy providers offer house visiting and personal consultation right at the patient’s residence. 

Conclusion

With the proper lifestyle changes and support from a specialist doing physiotherapy in Whitby, we can prevent cardiovascular diseases and other diseases as well to a great extent. Physiotherapists can come up with a number of effective relaxation techniques to tremendously reduce stress and implement exercise routines that will make your legs and core muscles stronger. This will not only build physical and cardiovascular endurance but will also help you build confidence to efficiently perform your daily activities.