Cardiovascular disease is a major concern in our modern Australian society. For example, “coronary heart disease…is the leading single cause of disease burden and death in Australia.” (AIHW, 2018)
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a health condition that comes in many forms, such as coronary heart disease, stroke and blood vessel disease. If you are living with CVD, you may find that your road to recovery is challenging – but we’ve got your back.
As university-educated professionals with extensive knowledge in exercise prescription, Exercise Physiologists (EPs) can help you on your journey towards achieving your exercise goals. It has been reported that exercise has several benefits for CVD:
- It reduces the severity of symptoms as well as the risk of future cardiac events (eg. heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke)
- It makes your daily activities easier to complete
- It has benefits for muscular strength and endurance
- It improves your aerobic capacity
But exercise is just one aspect of your health – there are so many other things that contribute to CVD; therefore, EPs also have knowledge in some of these areas to provide you with appropriate education.
- Nutrition: EPs are trained to provide general advice on nutrition habits to ensure you are fueling your body appropriately for exercise and to reduce symptoms of CVD. This includes reducing intake of foods like salt, cholesterol and alcohol, whilst eating two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables per day. For people with heart failure, EPs are also trained to monitor fluid levels (water, coffee, tea etc) and body weight before each session.
- Medications: it can be hard to adhere to your medications, but by taking them as required, your body will adapt favourably in the long run, and there is a chance you may end up coming off these medications. If you experience any unusual symptoms or side-effects, it is important that you discuss these with your EP because this may affect your ability to exercise.
- Mental health and wellbeing: whilst EPs aim to increase their clients’ intensity of exercise over time, we know it shouldn’t always be ‘all-systems-go’; EPs are educated on psychological factors and therefore want to optimise your mental health. For a better state of mind, you may choose to take a slow-paced walk around your neighbourhood whilst soaking up the environment, or you might take a night off to spend some quality time with your family, or you may simply choose to meditate. Do what feels right for you and feel free to try new hobbies.
- Social connections: EPs understand the power of social connections on a person’s health and wellbeing. group exercise sessions are a way to connect with people with similar experiences and interests whilst working towards your goals. It’s always good to see your friends often and remember that it is okay to open up to people if you are feeling down or concerned about your treatment or something else.
There is no cure for CVD, but it doesn’t have to dictate your life. At Bodytrack, we will always be here as your experts for individualised exercise delivery, and we will always be willing to provide education and empower you on your path to success.