Heart disease is a leading cause of death and disability. This shouldn’t be a surprise – it’s been at the top of the list for years. You know that taking care of your heart is important. That means doing things like eating right, avoiding smoking, and exercising regularly. What most people don’t think about is calling their physical therapist. But physical therapists can improve your heart health too!
how Physical therapy can help with your heart health
Cardiovascular exercise is anything that makes you breathe harder and your heart pump faster. That could be walking, running, dancing, biking, swimming or hiking. It strengthens your heart and blood vessels. It can help control weight, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and prevent heart disease.
If you’re regularly going for a run or swimming laps, you don’t need help from your PT. But 3 out of 4 adults aren’t exercising regularly. For those people, a PT may be just the person they need. It’s not uncommon to get injured, then never get back to the old routine. A PT can help with the old injury and design a plan to safely return to regular activity.
It’s also not uncommon for people to try to be more active on their own, only to stir up pain somewhere – like their back, hip, or shoulder. A PT can help with that too. They’ll figure out the cause of the pain, help correct it, and implement a plan to help that person reach their goals.
After a medical issue
Physical therapists can also help to safely increase activity levels after a major medical issue like a heart attack, stroke, or even cancer. Recent research has shown improvements in cardiovascular fitness, fatigue levels and even pain in cancer patients who participate in a personalized physical fitness plan from a PT.
Whatever your barriers to physical activity are, your PT can likely help you overcome them. As movement experts, physical therapists are trained to deal with a variety of conditions. They’ll help you work around whatever issues you have so you can safely elevate your heart rate and keep cardiovascular disease away.