What is a sensible regime to follow to maintain a healthy heart? Briefly discuss at least three strategies.
The risk of someone developing cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease (CHD) or a heart attack increases considerably if the person engages in certain activities continuously over their lifetime. So in order for persons to maintain a healthy heart, they should:
Practice moderation when eating foods high in saturated fats. The liver converts the saturated fats in our diets into cholesterol. Although cholesterol is essential to cell health, too much can increase low-density lipoproteins (LDL) concentration in the bloodstream. LDL cholesterol has a tendency to stick and build-up in the walls of the coronary artery, thereby increasing one's risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and atherosclerosis.
Avoid smoking cigarettes and second-hand cigarette smoke. Inhaling second-hand smoke from a cigarette is worse than smoking the cigarette. The chemical components of the smoke combine readily with haemoglobin in blood cells. So each blood cell carries less oxygen to body cells, subsequently putting pressure on the heart to pump more blood at a faster pace, contributing to the development of CHD. Thus, the heart usually becomes enlarged.
Exercise. Exercise increases the metabolic rate as glucose concentration in the blood decreases, thereby reducing the body's need to produce insulin which causes the secretion of adrenaline and the subsequent spike in blood pressure. Exercise also lessens the likelihood of fat encasing the heart and lining the coronary artery, resulting in increased cardiac output and arterial resistance.