As you can gather in the last few corners a healthy diet and regular exercise contribute to an overall cardiovascular disease prevention strategy. These lifestyle factors not only address specific risk factors like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity but also promote general well-being and reduce inflammation. But it’s important to stick with it to have long-term health benefits.
Some of the risk factors in Part 1 like high blood pressure, or hypertension, pose a significant risk to heart health by exerting excessive force on the walls of arteries. This persistent elevation in blood pressure can lead to atherosclerosis, where fatty deposits accumulate on artery walls, narrowing and stiffening them. This arterial damage, coupled with the chronic strain on the heart, can lead to conditions like angina and, in severe cases, heart attacks. Furthermore, hypertension may contribute to heart failure by progressively weakening the heart muscle. Additionally, the risk of stroke, due to hypertension’s impact on blood vessels in the brain.
High cholesterol is another risk factor and very closely related to heart health. Cholesterol is an essential fat-like substance in all cells of the body. It is essential for many of the body’s metabolic processes and we need blood cholesterol to:
- Build cell membrane structures
- Make hormones as estrogen, testosterone and adrenal hormones
- Production of bile acids that help the body digest fat and absorb nutrients
- Help body produce vitamin D.
Cholesterol travels through the blood on proteins called “lipoproteins.” Lipoprotein’s role are to transport all fat molecules, such as triglycerides, phospholipids, and cholesterol within the extracellular water of the body to all the cells and tissues:
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol – carries most of the cholesterol that is delivered to cells. It is called the ‘bad’ cholesterol because when its level in the bloodstream is high, it can clog up your arteries.
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol – is called the ‘good’ cholesterol, because it helps remove excess cholesterol out of the cells, including cells in the arteries, it reduces, reuses and recycles LDL to liver where it can be processed.
When there is an excess of cholesterol in the blood, it can lead to the formation of plaques in the arteries, and results in, as mentioned above – atherosclerosis. By adapting a healthy diet, with high fiber and healthy fats can help normalize cholesterol by lowering LDL and raising HDL. Exercise also helps in the same way by controlling weight and improving insulin sensitivity.
Not sure where to start, contact us and we will meet you where you are at and start developing long lasting healthy habits. As mentioned last corner just start moving even if 5 minutes at a time, and or contact us today on how to be a part of the Heart Health month.
Mikkie Pollon (Nettles),
Certified Personal Trainer/
Holistic & Sports Nutritionist
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