Beneficial effects of regular physical activity

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Beneficial effects of regular physical activity

Regular physical activity has a lot of cardiovascular beneficial effects in various domains.

Beneficial effects on preventing atherosclerosis

Regular exercise can bring down the levels of LDL cholesterol and increase the levels of HDL cholesterol which has a protective effect. Long term exercise programs can reduce blood pressure modestly. Relief of obesity is another advantage which also leads to an improved insulin sensitivity. Generalized inflammatory state also improves with regular exercise training, mediated through decreased adiposity as adipcytes are proinflammatory.

Psychological benefits

Important psychological benefits of exercise included improvement in stress and depression. Social support is better with exercise programs.

Effects on thrombosis

Regular exercise reduces platelet adhesiveness, improves fibrinolysis and reduces fibrinogen levels and blood viscosity. All these have favourable effect against thrombosis.

Effect on arrhythmia

Salutary effects on arrhythmia include resting heart rate, improved vagal tone, decreased sympathetic activity and heart rate variability. All these are beneficial in reducing life threatening arrhythmic events in those with established heart disease.

Benefits on myocardial ischemia

Long term exercise programs reduce myocardial oxygen demand, though acutely exercise increases myocardial oxygen demand. Coronary flow improves, endothelial dysfunction comes down and nitric oxide levels go up.

Reference: Franklin BA, Thompson PD, Al-Zaiti SS, Albert CM, Hivert MF, Levine BD, Lobelo F, Madan K, Sharrief AZ, Eijsvogels TMH; American Heart Association Physical Activity Committee of the Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Clinical Cardiology; and Stroke Council. Exercise-Related Acute Cardiovascular Events and Potential Deleterious Adaptations Following Long-Term Exercise Training: Placing the Risks Into Perspective-An Update: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2020 Mar 31;141(13):e705-e736.