Exercise After MI Good If Only Done
In an article published in the Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association yesterday, the authors noted that all types of exercise are good for the heart after a myocardial infarction (MI) but only if done.
Dr Margherita Vona et al began their study to look at different exercise training in cardiac rehabilitation. The controlled trial used 209 patients who were sent to rehab after an MI. These patients were then randomly assigned to one of four groups: aerobic training, resistance training, both combined, or no exercise.
The researchers looked at flow-mediated dilation (improve blood vessel function) at baseline after 4 weeks of exercise, and then again one month after stopping training. The flow-mediated dilation more than doubled with exercise, from about 4% to about 10% in all three exercise groups. Those in the no exercise group had a small increase from the baseline 4% to about 5%.
The benefits of physical activity did not last when the activity ended. Within a month of no exercise, the flow-mediated function returned to baseline levels.
The important finding of this study is as Dr Vona said, "Long-term adherence to training programs is necessary to maintain vascular benefits on endothelial function."
It is not important which physical activity you choose to do, it is important that you do it. It is important that you continue to be physically active on a regular basis.
"Effects of different types of exercise training followed by detraining on endothelium-dependent dilation in patients with recent myocardial infarction"; Circulation 2009; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.821736; Vona M, et al