"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Why does the human heart thrive with exercise?

Chimps vs. Early Humans

Chimpanzees, our closest evolutionary relatives, spend a lot of the day feeding and resting, interspersed with short bouts of climbing and fighting. This short but intense contraction creates pressure in the guts chambers, leading to thicker, harder partitions. In contrast, our ancient ancestors needed to hunt and gather food to survive, which required them to walk and run long distances. As evolution progressed, early farmers relied on this same physical endurance to plow, plant, and harvest their food. As a result, the partitions of human hearts evolved to be thinner and more flexible. The heart's chambers became barely larger, and additionally they became in a position to bend barely (like wringing out a towel), which allows more blood to flow out and back into the guts comfortably.

Purity of heart?

The Tarahumara Indians, who live in Copper Canyon, Mexico, are one in all the few civilizations that remain largely untouched by Westernization. “They lead what anthropologists call a subsistence farming lifestyle that calls for walking, jogging and other movements throughout the day,” says Dr Bagesh.

“Their hearts represent how the heart has naturally evolved to function — the pure form of the human heart, if you will,” he says.

But your heart also adapts throughout your life depending on what type of exercise you do – or don't do.

The heart's most important pumping chamber, the left ventricle, reflects the style of activity an individual typically does. The left ventricles of those with endurance were longer, larger, and more flexible (and due to this fact in a position to handle a bigger volume of blood) than average. On the opposite hand, football linemen's hearts were more adapted to short, intense workouts that mirrored their strength training. The partitions of their left ventricles were thicker and fewer elastic, allowing them to manage higher with pressure moderately than volume.

Inactivity damages the guts.

However, the group of men who didn't exercise turned out to be an important a part of the story when it comes to health lessons, says Dr. Bagesh. The men, all of their 20s and 30s, didn't have traditional heart disease risk aspects, equivalent to hypertension. But their untrained hearts appeared faster with thicker and fewer elastic partitions.

“If you don't do any physical activity, you're not pumping as much blood through your heart and blood vessels on a daily basis. Both the heart and the blood vessels begin to stiffen,” explains Dr. Bagesh. This creates a vicious circle: the less you progress, the less you'll find a way to do the type of exercise that keeps you healthy.

Exercise helps prevent hypertension.

Dr. Bagesh says these latest findings suggest that the technique of developing hypertension is about in motion before it's first detected within the doctor's office. Unfortunately, only 20 percent of American adults get the beneficial 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity. And about one-third of adults have hypertension.

Although it's best to exercise throughout your life, it's never too late to begin. For many individuals, getting lively from being sedentary is difficult and requires real behavior change. “But the more we can help people understand the underlying reasons and implications of their choices, the better off we'll be,” says Dr. Bagesh.