For a lot of us, the prevention of heart disease revolves around the way in which we live our lives, including the foods we consume and the activities we take part in. Cardiovascular health, effectively the health of your heart, is obviously one of the most important parts of our bodies to take care of.
While medication can be effective in improving cardiovascular health, it should always be taken in conjunction with better lifestyle choices. Let’s take a look at the many natural lifestyle changes you can make to improve your cardiovascular health.
These healthy changes in your lifestyle can:
- Reduce the risk of heart disease dramatically
- Make plaques in arteries more stable so they are less able to burst and cause blood clots, leading to heart attack
- Can reverse the progress of atherosclerosis or coronary heart disease
Be more active
The most common method of improving cardiovascular health is from exercising the heart and living an active lifestyle. In hundreds of studies around the world regular physical activity has been shown to have remarkable health benefits both long and short term.
Being more active can:
- Keep weight under control
- Reduce risk of heart disease
- Improve fat to muscle ratio
- Lower blood sugar and reduce risk of diabetes
- Reduce the risk of some cancers
- Improve sleep
- Make you less stressed
- Improve overall longevity
There are 3 main types of exercise that a great for cardiovascular health.
30 minutes to 90 minutes of moderate workouts with high intensity mixed in
2 to 3 sessions of full body resistance a week
Daily stretching exercises
Obesity is heavily linked to cardiovascular disease alongside several other health complications. Overweight people have a larger build-up of plaque in their arteries and are thus more at risk of heart attack.
Even those people with otherwise skinny bodies but have pot bellies are at a greater risk of early death then those without. The fatter you are, the easier it is for the body to add more.
Therefore losing weight, especially for morbidly obese people is a significant challenge but is the only way to ensure a longer life. The more heavy you are the more your heart needs to work overtime and this ages it very quickly.
The only thing worse for your body than being overweight is being overweight and smoking. Whether its cigarettes or something else, combustion products from smoking and the chemicals in tobacco wreak havoc on the cardiovascular system.
Since the turn of the century there has been a greater emphasis in people live to make time for fitness activities. Many people choose to buy an annual gym membership so that they can have access to a professional training facility with all of the equipment they could ever need.
Everyone has different individual goals for going to the gym, but most of them revolve around feeling and looking better whether it be via losing weight, training cardio or lifting weights. However, some people have trouble sticking to these gym routines and end up losing money paying for memberships they don’t use.
This becomes stressful for people who want to stick to their fitness goals but don’t feel like they have the time, energy and motivation to do it consistently. Without consistency then a lot of these fitness goals can’t be realistically achieved.
Therefore it’s essential to find ways to make going to the gym consistently easier for you. Let’s take a look at some easy ways to get the most out of your gym membership.
One of the best ways to make sure you stick to a schedule is to involve someone else in it. When you have a training buddy you end up putting a casual pressure on each other to show up to the gym and not let each other down.
When two friends can train together they can keep each other on track as well as socialise making the experience less mundane. However if you are too chummy with your buddy then it can be easy for you to be distracted and not train as hard as you could.
Be careful about who you choose as a buddy. If you’re reason for missing the gym is laziness and you friend is even lazier then you likely both find excuses not to commit.
Improve your diet
Many people have the time to go the gym after or before work but decides to skip because of how tired they are. When you get home after a long day working the last thing on your mind is another load of hard work at the gym.
A lot of the time people lack energy after work because of their poor diets. Many people only eat a light breakfast or skip it entirely, having one big lunch a day and then failing to keep their energy levels up as the day moves into the afternoon.
Improving the diet to include more nutritious and whole food will give your body longer lasting energy to burn and will help keeping you ready for training.
Varicose veins are large, bulging, “rope like” blood vessels that are commonly a quarter inch and sometimes larger in total diameter. They are best treated with modern forms of professional laser vein therapy from specialist clinics.
How do varicose veins occur?
Most commonly, blood vessels are considered varicose when they are no longer properly taking blood from the legs up into the heart. Each blood vessel has special valves that close to push blood towards to hear and prevent any backflow caused by gravity, also known as “reflux”.
When these valves are damaged and no longer function properly, gravity forces blood to leak through and head downwards, in the wrong direction. The blood proceeds to distend and overfill the blood vessels in the legs, becoming swollen and noticeable.
The blood vessels that become varicose are known as “superficial blood vessels”, which means they can be safely removed from the body without any negative effects. Laser vein therapy is an effective choice for removing the problem blood vessels safely.
How common is this condition?
From studies, at least one half of the population has some kind of venous disease with varicose blood vessels affecting around 50% of those over 50 years of age. It is less prevalent in younger adults, ranging from 15% to 25%.
How does laser vein therapy work?
Before the development of laser vein therapy, the most effective means of treating the condition was a surgical procedure known as stripping. This was a highly invasive surgical procedure that would leave incision marks and is considered outdated next to modern treatments.
The procedure uses an endovenous laser that is inserted into the blood vessel, often guided by an ultrasound machine, to deliver highly accurate heat. The heat then forced the blood vessel to contract, stopping blood from flowing back through it.
Endovenous laser vein therapy does not require and surgery and the whole procedure can be completed in under an hour. The leg they are operating on is anesthetised so that the laser fibre can be threaded through a small incision.
Why is the fibre inserted through the upper thigh for blood vessels below the knee?
During laser vein therapy the specialist may treat blood vessels below the knee by inserting the fibre in the thigh. This is because blood vessels lower down in the leg are likely pooling blog because of a fault that is higher up in a vein that can’t be seen.
By treating the source of the problem in the thigh, the blood vessels in the lower leg begin to be less swollen and visible.
Is laser vein therapy painful?
While individual people have varying responses, on the whole most people consider the treatment to have little to no pain at all. Many people report that the only sensation they feel is when the anaesthetic is applied.
There may be some tingling, itchiness, tightness or tenderness in the treated area following the procedure, but this is normal. These symptoms should not persist for more than a month following the procedure.
How successful is it?
Very, clinical trial results have reported a very high success rate for the procedure with many long-term benefits for varicose sufferers. There are however some risks for certain people that a doctor will be able to disclaim to them prior to the procedure.
What should you do after the procedure?
A gauze pad will be placed over the incision area and compression stocking will be placed over the leg. The specialist will encourage you to begin walking around straight away to stimulate the blood flow and see if you are able to drive yourself home if required.
While downtime is minimal, most specialists will suggest not to carry out any strenuous exercise activities for at least 2 week after the procedure.