John Quindry, director of Auburn University’s Cardioprotection Research Laboratory, said far too many people associate hour-long elliptical machine sessions as the most effective means of building a healthy heart.
“Just getting out and walking or jogging for the recommended 30 to 45 minutes most days is going to be enough to help,” Quindry said.
Through his animal-based laboratory research, Quindry and his collaborators have found that even a few days of exercise can provide a form of protection in the event of a heart attack.
In his lab experiments, Quindry has taken sedentary rats and exercised them through treadmill activity for three-day periods.
After that period of moderate to vigorous exercise, the lab rats were subjected to experimentally induced heart attacks, replicating a clinical heart attack in humans.
Quindry has repeatedly found that the brief exercise regimen diminishes the severity of the heart attacks.
“The animal-based research has been structured so that it’s very clinically relevant. The animals we use exercise in proportion to the same intensities you and I would exercise for good health and fitness,” Quindry said.
“Just three days of exercise overwhelmingly protects against heart attack damage. What we’re finding is that even a little bit of physical activity is more powerful than we once thought,” he added.