Exercise for cardiac health and regeneration: killing two birds with one stone
The benefits of exercise for cardiovascular health and improved cardiovascular disease outcome are undeniable. Experimental, epidemiological and clinical studies support exercise as an effective cardioprotective activity (1). Diverse exercise-induced acute and chronic adaptations have been described as underlying contributors for a cardioprotective phenotype (2). Yet, many questions remain unanswered: is there a critical amount and/or intensity of exercise to trigger the adaptations? Is there one main signaling pathway that orchestrates the resulting phenotype? If so, is it possible to therapeutically stimulate specific signaling pathways and thereby mimic the exercise stimulus?