Fitness and Cardiovascular Disease

By Azeezat Lawal, Director of Event Services at CHI

Ever consider how an organ as large as your fist can pump close to 10.5 pints of blood per minute? For the average healthy adult, the heart, at rest, is capable of circulating up to 5 liters of blood effortlessly. Made up of four chambers, the right and left atria, as well as the right and left ventricles, work to provide oxygen to our vital organs and sustain human life as we know it. So what is the point of this miniature anatomy lesson, you ask?

Well, with anything that works “perfectly,” there is space to work imperfectly. Cardiovascular Disease or CVD is just one of the various hiccups of the human heart when lifestyle and disease predisposition are intertwined. To further elaborate Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term that includes several disorders of the heart ranging from

Heart Disease

Heart attack

Stroke

Heart failure

Electrical conduction issue or Arrhythmia

Structural problem or heart valve issue.

There are slight variations in the presentation of said disease processes. Still, essentially, an occlusion or blockage of blood circulation through the heart leads to ischemia, which is heart tissue or muscle death, subsequently resulting in structural, electrical, and or mechanical malfunctioning of the heart. So, why do I tell you all this? I would be remiss to merely present the facts of what can go wrong with the heart without discussing how you can work towards a viable solution for prevention or maintenance routine.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with Cardiovascular disease is something that you should discuss with a licensed healthcare provider. This newsletter does not serve medical advice. Thus, ensure to discuss any changes to your diet or activity level with your medical provider.

Fortunately, when it comes to prevention, there are established guidelines to follow when navigating how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, regulatory bodies like the American Heart Association and the Center for Disease Control ( CDC) state:

Per recommendations of the American Heart Association:

  • 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week.
  • Add moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity (such as resistance or weights) on at least 2 days per week.
  • Spend less time sitting. Even light-intensity activity can offset some of the risks of being sedentary.
  • Gain even more benefits by being active at least 300 minutes (5 hours) per week.
  • Increase amount and intensity gradually over time.

The benefits of physical activity help to offset the effects of cardiovascular disease by several factors including weight control and prevention of leading diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Physical activity increases blood flow to ensure adequate blood circulation for the remainder of the body and subsequently oxygen as well. Starting off slow is best before eventually working up to a full workout routine. Briskly walking 30 mins a day is considered moderate-intensity activity and can, with determination, easily be incorporated into a regular healthy routine. Do you find it difficult to workout as recommended? Send us a note to let us know how you’re working to maintain a healthy lifestyle, we’d love to hear from you!

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