According to Dick Thijssen, a Cardiovascular Physiology & Exercise professor at the Liverpool John Moores University, this almost-instant protection may be due to a phenomenon known as cardiovascular preconditioning.
Thijssen and his team explain that subjecting the heart to short, non-life threatening bursts of ischemia (moments when the heart is getting an inadequate supply of blood), this builds the organ’s resistance to future ischemic instances.
Due to Thijssen’s findings, just participating in 1-3 of these short, burst workout sessions per week is enough to help keep the heart strong.
According to Medical News Today:
Moreover, one single workout episode can provide cardio protection for 2–3 hours, and even stronger and longer-lasting benefits emerge 24 hours after the exercise session has finished.
Obesity, age, and other factors may hinder the total protective benefits of short, burst-like workouts. However, consistently sticking with these exercise can strengthen and restore these health benefits.
As Medical News Today states:
“Taken together, cardio protection through exercise preconditioning is a facile, inexpensive, and potent therapy that deserves greater recognition and further resources to establish the optimal dose.”
When it comes down to it, exercise proves again and again that when you don’t use it, you lose it. Stay consistent with these types of exercises and routinely get your heart rate up throughout the week; your heart is sure to thank you!