Did you know some interesting facts about the heart? Our heart pumps about 100,000 times a day. The heart is a giant pump – and can pump 2,000 gallons of blood throughout a network of blood vessels, that is about 60,000 miles long.
Heart disease is not only a concern for men but is also a number one killer for women and did you know that since the heart is an emotional organ, depression can increase the risks of heart disease especially in women. Your activity level determines your potential risk factor for heart disease and excessive sitting has been linked to increased rate of heart disease.
Now to some facts about how we can attain and maintain good cardiovascular health.
Regular exercise is one of the key factors in keeping up with great cardio health. Research studies, such as the Framingham heart study have found that there are many benefits to our heart when we exercise regularly. According to the American Heart Association, aerobic exercise is recommended to prevent primary and secondary cardiovascular disease. Aerobic exercise on a regular basis is found to have a lowering effect on blood pressure helping it to stabilize and approach optimal levels. At the same time, it also helps with improved blood circulation.
Did you also know that by the same token, the lack of exercise or excessive sitting all day is an important risk factor leading to coronary heart disease? In fact, for that reason, sitting has been likened to smoking –because sitting all day with complete inactivity can have the same adverse effects on our health, namely on our heart.
The combination of exercise with a healthy nutritious diet filled with omega-3 fatty acids and lots of green veggies, fruits and mixed nuts and some extremely beneficial root vegetables such as garlic and turmeric will help to balance the levels of cholesterol. In the human body, we require cholesterol to keep us in good health. However, we need to maintain the proper balance of the two types of cholesterol, HDL and LDL. Having too much of LDL and not enough HDL could lead to blocked arteries, therefore heart disease and stroke. Thus, we try to optimize the HDL/LDL levels – there is a constant tug of war between them and it is their relative ratio that is more relevant. Regular aerobic exercise helps us to strike that preferred balance.
As already mentioned, depression can cause heart problems especially in women. We have to not only make sure our moods are uplifted, but that we also remove stress and anxiety from our daily lives as much as possible. In fact, the two can go hand in hand – removing stress and worries can lift up our mood and also help us sleep better. When we sleep regularly and get a good night’s sleep, we definitely get a thumb up from our heart.