Thursday, November 5, 2015

Medical Cannabis & Cardiovascular Health...a Matter of the Heart

Are you winded just walking up the stairs? Do you get tired performing daily household tasks such as vacuuming, or yard work such as mowing the lawn or shoveling snow? 
If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, you can benefit from increased cardiovascular endurance. What is this cardiovascular endurance? It is the ability of the heart, lungs and blood vessels to deliver oxygen to working muscles and tissues, as well as the ability of those tissues to utilize the oxygen.
The benefits of cardiovascular endurance are many and far reaching. As a person develops their cardiovascular endurance, several beneficial adaptations occur within
the body:
Increased heart size. This improves the strength and pumping capacities of the heart which allows it to do more work with each beat making it more efficient.
Increased blood plasma volume. This helps with temperature regulation during exercise.
Decreases heart rate. Keeping the heart rate lower by making the heart muscle more efficient reduces stress on the heart.
Lowers blood pressure. High blood pressure has been linked to an increase of susceptibility for a number of cardiac diseases.
More efficient pulmonary function. With the increased ability of the body to utilize the oxygen provided, the lungs are not required to work as hard to supply the oxygen demand, so fewer breaths are required. This saves energy and keeps you from getting “winded” or tired as quickly.

Medical Cannabis contains a group of compounds that scientists believe could provide new treatments for cardiovascular disease. Experiments suggest that these compounds, called cannabinoids, may protect against a wide range of conditions, including hypertension, stroke, atherosclerosis and heart attacks. Now, scientists at the University of Nottingham School of Medicine have shown that cannabinoids can have the same effect in cardio patients.  According to the researchers, the study was the first of it’s kind to demonstrate this response in human tissue samples. Relaxation of the blood vessels is known to lower blood pressure and improve circulation - always a good thing.  And the more healthy the heart is, the better our bodies respond to our medical cannabis dosage. 

Exercises/activities to improve cardiovascular endurance: cycling, swimming, brisk walking, yoga, skating, dancing, running, calisthenics, plyometrics, yard work, or cardio classes will all result in cardiovascular endurance gains depending on duration of the fitness activity. 

Higher intensity activities such as interval training, circuit training, or sprinting will show dramatic increases in cardiovascular health and endurance. Like any training for your muscles, continuously challenging your cardiovascular system with new activities or with increased intensity or duration will result in favorable gains. Our bodies are creatures of habit. The more you exercise, the more your body learns to burn fat rather than storing it. People who cross-train with a variety of exercise are more fit and less injury-prone than those who exercise using only one or two exercise modalities.

Find a friend to exercise with and do an activity you find fun and challenging! The key is to start and stick with it! After all, it’s a matter of the HEART, your HEART! 

"Exercise is king, nutrition is queen, together they make a kingdom" -Jack Lalane

by Jason Barker

Duke City Fitness & Wellness