Cardiovascular health is a major concern for many people. A healthy heart can help to stave off cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and many other ailments. Multiple factors are involved in improving and maintaining cardiovascular health, although much of it relates maintaining a healthy body in general. Proper exercise, a good diet, and low body fat are a good way to start. Minimizing stress can also promote a healthy heart and avoid complications from cardiovascular issues.
Maintaining a healthy body weight is one step towards good cardiovascular health. Excess body fat can lead to high cholesterol and high blood pressure. High cholesterol causes buildup in blood vessels, which restricts blood flow, increases blood pressure, and places undue stress on both vessel walls and the heart. Obstructions can lead to a stroke or a heart attack. One way to minimize cholesterol and reduce body weight is to maintain a healthy diet low in fatty, high-cholesterol foods.
Another way is to exercise. Burning calories through exercise reduces body fat and increases muscle. Exercise also stimulates the heart muscle and promotes healthy blood flow. Good circulation and a strong heart are both part of a healthy cardiovascular system. Regular exercise will help to promote an active metabolism, which, in turn, allows the body to burn fat at a faster rate. Prolonged physical activity can also help to strengthen the respiratory system, aiding in maintaining steady breathing — which helps minimize strain on the lungs and heart during exercise.
Physical exercise is also a good way of relieving stress. Stress is another major factor in poor cardiovascular health. Not only does it cause increased vascular buildup over time, but it can cause high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. To maintain a healthy heart, avoid stressful situations if possible.
When stress cannot be avoided, try to control your reactions to it. Reduce daily stress through meditation exercises, yoga, breathing techniques, or other methods of relaxation. If suffering from severe high blood pressure, you may want to consult a physician about prescription medications for managing your blood pressure. Therapy may also offer an effective professional guide for managing stress.
Smoking is another contributor to poor cardiovascular health. Even reducing the number of cigarettes smoked per day can drastically improve your health, although the strongest results come from quitting entirely. Another benefit of not smoking is reduced risk of cancer and lung disease, as well as improved overall respiration. Tobacco smoke can have a damaging effect on the pulmonary system, and can lead to cardiovascular disease.