Your cardiovascular system carries oxygenated blood from your heart throughout your body and carries carbon dioxide back to the lungs for exhalation. The oxygenated blood moves through arteries and exhausted blood moves through veins. The transfer occurs at the capillary level. A disease of the cardiovascular system leads to an inefficient transfer and tissue damage.
Oxygen crosses the capillary wall as it’s released by the red blood cells. Those red blood cells then pick up carbon dioxide. If you are low on red blood cells you are anemic and your heart has to work a little harder. If you have high blood pressure, the pressure on the capillaries and arteries will put more stress on the heart to move blood effectively. If you are inactive or prone to vein weakness, your body may have a hard time moving exhausted or oxygen depleted blood back to the heart to release carbon dioxide and collect more oxygen.
Factors That damage Our Heart health and Cardiovascular System
Your heart can be damaged by arterial plaque that builds up inside both veins and arteries. Plaque is a waxy, sticky film made up of fatty molecules and cholesterol.
Over time, this plaque can completely block off the flow of blood to major extremities and stress the heart to the point that the muscle is damaged by loss of oxygen. This is also known as a heart attack. If the condition is not addressed quickly, you can suffer permanent damage to the heart muscle and have to live with a less efficient, effective heart.
All of the parts of your body that also have to have oxygenated blood, from your skin to your brain to your kidneys, will also have to live with less efficient access to oxygenated blood. Once the heart is damaged, the only fix is a new heart.
What Helps Our Heart to Remain Strong and Healthy?
Staying on top of your diet is key to keeping your heart healthy. You can lower your cholesterol by making some fairly simple changes. For example, getting rid of white flour and rice and replacing it with whole wheat and brown rice will take a taste bud adjustment, but it will work overtime. Staying away from highly processed foods including deli meats and potato chips is also critical.
While working on your diet to reduce cholesterol, make sure you also pay attention to inflammatory foods. Systemic inflammation can be very hard on your heart as it can raise your blood pressure. For an easy fix, never eat foods that contain more than 4 syllables. Apples are good for you. Acrylamide, a chemical by-product of frying potato chips, is not.
Strive to get 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week. If you can get up 15 minutes early and get in a walk before the day gets too hot, you’re halfway there. Take another walk or a bike ride with family after dinner and you’ve gone a long way toward building a healthier heart. Try to walk quickly enough that talking is possible, but do try to move with enough vigor that your body warms up.
Be vigilant about your sleeping area. Getting quality rest is oven about training your body and brain to shut down at the same time each day. To start, get up at the same time each day. Shut down your caffeine consumption by noon so you’re not agitated in the evenings. As possible, get away from screens to reduce your light exposure as the day winds down. Let your home darken as the day darkens.
High levels of stress can be as hard on your heart as not exercising and a poor diet. Stress can also take away your ability to sleep. Loneliness, a common challenge for older adults, can cause a dangerous increase in stress and lead to heart disease. Finding a common connection on the phone, via email or Zoom, is critical to keeping your spirits up.
If you’re trying to eat right and get some exercise but have no energy, it’s time to get your growth hormone levels tested. It’s common for both men and women. While a slow lowering of our HGH levels is normal as we age, a rapid drop will leave you feeling lethargic, weak, and possibly depressed. It could also be an indication of a problem with your pituitary gland. Should you need HGH supplementation, you will need HGH injections of the highest quality delivered by a trained professional. Considering treatment dive deeper and find out all available hrt for men options.
Preventing the Onset of Heart Disease
If you’re stressed, it may be time to cut out a few things. A great job will do you no good if you damage your family connections and your heart because you never leave the office. Get in the habit of regular, daily exercise.
Take a look at your grocery store flyers and do some meal planning with loved ones to make sure that your refrigerator is full of healthy foods that will support a strong, healthy heart. If you love all things salty, look for recipes that can be flavorful without salt.
If you smoke, stop. Yes, you may gain weight for a bit. However, it’s easier to take off those pounds than it is to repair the damage done to your lungs and cardiovascular system by smoking. If you choose to drink, keep it to one or two glasses of heart-healthy red wine.
Pay attention to what drinking leads to for you. If a glass of red wine helps you wind down and sleep deeply, it’s probably good for your heart. If it makes you reach for high fat, high sodium snacks, drink club soda.
When planning your meals, look for ways to increase your intake of salmon and soy for the omega-3 benefits. If these don’t appeal, consider a supplement.
Finally, find ways to revel in these new foods and activities. Get a great bike and go out with the grandkids. Set up a space on the kitchen counter for fresh fruits to be beautifully displayed and easy to get to. Get light-blocking drapes and a new mattress so your sleeping nest is ideal for you and your partner.