Just 30 minutes of running on a treadmill can reshape damaged heart tissue, researchers have found in a study which proved that exercise could be just as important for heart health as controlled cholesterol and a healthy diet.
The findings showed that just a single session of endurance exercise – activities that increase breathing and heart rate such as walking, jogging, swimming – increased the expression of genes that are used to repair damaged DNA and helped remodel heart tissue.
“The genes that are important for genome stability are up-regulated in the heart tissue after a single bout of endurance exercise. This may contribute to the protective effects of exercise on cardiovascular health,” said Stephen Roth, Professor at the University of Maryland in the US.
In the study, published in the journal Experimental Physiology, the scientists observed the heart of a mice, who ran for half an hour on a treadmill.
The results are also applicable to humans since these genes are regulated in a similar way to those in humans, the researchers noted.
The study may be important for understanding how exercise provides a protective effect on the heart.
By understanding this process and basic heart biology, future research may lead to increased life expectancy and drug-free cures for chronic heart problems, including high blood pressure.