Endurance Exercises May Help Reshape Damaged Heart Tissues

Not only can endurance exercises like walking and jogging help you burn calories and improve bone & muscular strength but these aerobic activities also aid reshape damaged heart tissues, found a new study.

We’ve heard it a gazillion times that endurance exercises are good for health. Now a team of researchers from the Universities of Maryland and Texas Southwestern Medical Centre in the US came up with more evidence showing that regular physical activities are as essential for healthy heart as low-cholesterol diet and healthy lifestyle.

According to the findings of the novel study, just a single session of endurance training, such as running for 30 minutes per day on a treadmill, may help reshape damaged heart tissue.

The researchers claim, endurance exercise activities such as swimming, walking and jogging and swimming that increase breathing and heart rate can boost expression of genes involved in repairing damaged DNA. What’s more, such physical activities provide a protective effect on the heart and can remodel heart tissue, they claim.

“The genes that are important for genome stability are unregulated in the heart tissue after a single bout of endurance exercise. This may contribute to the protective effects of exercise on cardiovascular health,” said lead author Stephen Roth, Professor at the University of Maryland.

The study findings are based on a mouse trial wherein researchers studies hearts of mice that were made to run on a treadmill for 30 minutes. The hearts of the mice were examined for the activity of DNA-repair genes and were compared to hearts of mice that had not been exercised.

Test results showed increased activity of genes that are used to repair damaged DNA and remodelled heart tissue in hearts of mice that had been put on treadmill.

The endurance exercises like brisk walking, jogging and swimming are known to increase breathing and heart rate which further causes spur in the expression of these DNA-repairing genes.

The researchers affirm that the results from the mouse trial are applicable to humans because the genes in question are regulated in a way that is similar to those in humans.  

Prof. Roth and colleagues hope their discovery is of utmost importance for understanding how endurance activity provides a protective effect on the cardiac health. The team hope that by having broader insight into this process and basic heart biology, they will pave the way for future research that would lead to increased life expectancy and drug-free cures for chronic cardiovascular ailments, including high blood pressure or hypertension.

The study appears in the current issue of the journal Experimental Physiology.