News

Heart failure: moderate training, even with heart failure, is healthy


3,000 steps in 30 minutes: physical training for patients with heart failure
Heart failure (heart failure) is one of the most common fatal diseases. So far, people have mostly been advised to avoid any physical exertion. But researchers are now reporting that moderate exercise can bring health benefits to patients.

One of the most common fatal diseases
Heart failure (heart failure) affects more than 20 million people worldwide and is also one of the most common fatal diseases in Germany. As a result of this disease, the heart is no longer able to provide the body with sufficient blood and oxygen. So far, it has been assumed that physical training leads to a damaging enlargement of the heart chamber in the event of heart failure. German and Norwegian scientists disprove this previous assumption and make recommendations on what training should be like for people with heart failure.

Patients were advised against physical exertion for a long time
In recent years, new approaches to treating heart failure have been reported.

For example, scientists at the Hannover Medical School (MHH) found that more iron could help some patients because it makes the heart more resilient.

So far, those affected have been advised against physical exertion. However, scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Technical and Natural Sciences University in Trondheim, Norway (NTNU) are now reporting that supervised training helps with heart failure.

So far, drug therapy has been in the foreground
“Until now, drug therapy has been the focus for heart failure. This was supplemented by a pacemaker that optimizes the contraction of the heart muscle and a defibrillator - both of which are intended to prevent sudden cardiac death due to cardiac arrhythmias, ”said Professor Martin Halle from the Chair for Preventive and Rehabilitative Sports Medicine at the Technical University of Munich in a statement.

According to the experts, physical exercise was strictly prohibited for a long time because it was feared that the pumping function of the heart would deteriorate further.

However, in recent years, scientific studies have shown that supplementary physical training makes it more resilient and reduces further hospital stays due to worsening symptoms.

The prognosis of sick people was significantly improved
For a study that has now been published in the American Heart Association's “Circulation” journal, physicians at nine European centers examined which type of training affects how a damaged heart.

"With this study, we demonstrate how moderate sports therapy significantly improves the prognosis of sick people", Halle concluded.

From 2009 to 2014, a total of 261 heart failure patients were divided into three groups and underwent various training sessions for 52 weeks.

Initially, all three groups underwent training supervised by medical professionals for three months and a recommendation to continue the intervention for another nine months was given.

Improvement of the pump function
It was shown that patients who underwent moderate training for 12 weeks had better effects than those who trained alone.

"We were able to observe a reduction in the size of the left ventricle and thus an improvement in the pump function," explained Halle. "And her general physical condition improved."

According to the information provided, the study found no significant differences between interval training at high intensity or regular standard training at moderate intensity.

"Overall, this new study underlines how much regular physical training at moderate intensity is recommended for all patients with systolic heart failure," Halle summarized - "However, I would personally advise against higher intensities until we know more about it and can use long-term numbers. "

3,000 steps in 30 minutes
The physician has a specific tip in the message: "Moderate training means around a hundred steps per minute or 3,000 steps in 30 minutes."

The experts also list the benefits of sports therapy for cardiac patients: the heart is relieved and strengthened by an improved heart muscle function. New blood vessels are formed and existing ones expanded. Blood pressure rises and blood lipid levels drop.

The oxygen uptake from the blood improves. The risk of cardiovascular emergencies such as heart attacks and strokes decreases. The resilience and performance is increased. (ad)

Author and source information


Video: How Heart Failure is Diagnosed (January 2022).