Dr. Volgman explains how regular exercise impacts heart disease in women.
Exercise is probably one of the best things anybody can do for their hearts. Many different benefits from exercise, besides keeping your weight down, keeps your heart rate slow, keeps your blood pressure low, and it increases your HDL cholesterol which is the good cholesterol.
Plus it also, in people with heart disease already, if you exercise it starts to open up collateral so that if you have even a small blockage or a big blockage, if you keep exercising you actually open up the collaterals so that if you do have a blockage there, it may not necessarily cause a heart attack because it will open up the blood vessels, and the collaterals will just keep feeding the muscle.
So that can literally help you not get a heart attack. It can prevent a heart attack. It’s one of the most important advice that we can give to our patients who have already had a heart attack. Cardiac rehabilitation is the best thing we can give our patients to do, but most doctors forget that, and most patients don’t give it enough importance that they go to the cardiac rehab, especially women.
Women are not being told to do cardiac rehab, and the women themselves don’t value it enough so that they take enough time in their lives to go to the cardiac rehab. So, it’s one of the most important things, and it’s one of the least things that, one of the least implemented advice that we could give to patients.
About Dr. Volgman, M.D., F.A.C.C.:
Annabelle S. Volgman is associate professor of medicine and medical director of the Heart Center for Women at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Volgman graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University, and received her medical doctorate degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York. She received her internal medicine training at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics and her cardiology fellowship training at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. She was a fellow in clinical electrophysiology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Illinois Masonic Medical Center under Richard Kehoe, M.D.
Dr. Volgman has published numerous abstracts and articles in multiple topics of women and heart disease as well as cardiac electrophysiology. She is currently president of the Metro Chicago Board of Directors of the AHA. She has been a prominent leader of the Go Red for Women movement and has received numerous awards from the American Heart Association. She has been listed in several lists of top doctors and was named a top doctor in the January 2008 issue of “Chicago Magazine.” She has been interviewed by numerous media about health issues and was featured in “O” magazine as Oprah Winfrey’s cardiologist.
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