Indeed, numerous studies have found a link between better cardiovascular health and regular exercise.
“Your heart is a muscle and it needs exercise to keep it strong and make it work harder and more effectively,” said a British Heart Foundation (BHF) spokeswoman (bhf.org.uk).
“Exercise also has a positive impact on risk factors that contribute to coronary heart disease, helps you control stress levels, and lowers blood pressure, weight and cholesterol.”
Gym workout warning: Moderate intensity exercise may be safer for the heart
Too much of anything is bad for you though so if you’re constantly performing HIIT everyday you’re going to stress your body and heart out.
Research published in 2014 in the journal Heart revealed that high-intensity exercise – commonly abbreviated to HIIT – may increase risk of dying from a heart attack or developing an irregular heart rhythm later in life.
“Too much of anything is bad for you though so if you’re constantly performing HIIT everyday you’re going to stress your body and heart, and not give it time to heal,” said Niko Algieri, personal trainer and co-founder of Equilibrium in Notting Hill.
“In addition to heart health, too much of the stress hormone, cortisol, in the body can lead to loss of muscle, fat retention and increase your risk of illness and injury.”
Gym workout warning: Exercise helps the heart work more effectively
“Moderate intensity exercise is better for a lot of individuals because it is safer for the heart,” said the BHF.
“It is easier for an individual to pace themselves and therefore they might be more likely to keep it up and be less likely to have complications afterwards.
However, slower-paced workouts might have their limitations when it comes to cardiovascular health.
“For years, continuous aerobic exercise has been the chosen method for improving heart health and function,” explained Algieri.
“However, research shows that HIIT leads to similar and, in some cases, better improvements in less time for some physiological markers.
Gym workout warning: If you feel pain in neck and arms you could be overworking your heart
“Another benefit is it creates new cells called mitochondria in the body which take the fat and carbohydrates you either eat or store and convert them to usable energy.”
Those at risk of heart problems should take care during any exercise.
“For most individuals it is safe to participate in high intensity training, and if you have a heart condition, you should always discuss any kind of new exercise you wish to take part in with your doctor,” said the BHF.
“You want to make your heart beat faster and feel a little short of breathe when you exercise.
“But if someone has palpitations, undue breathlessness, chest pain or discomfort in the arm, neck or back, dizziness or nausea then they should stop immediately and seek medical attention.”
However, Algieri warns having cardiovascular problems shouldn’t necessarily put you off exercise completely.
“HIIT and cardio both improve blood pressure, so again there are arguments for and against,” he explained.