A few words from heart to heart…
The heart is an organ central and essential to our body, and there is no need to overstate its tremendous importance.
When you were young, you followed your heart...
When you got older, you showed your determination and courage…
And now, just when your heart needs you more than ever, you don't pay much attention to it.
Really, what have you done for your heart lately?
Heart disease is defined as a heart disorder precluding the heart from functioning at the desired efficiency level, and therefore the body is deprived of the necessary amounts of oxygen and sustenance. The most common and well-known heart diseases are atherosclerosis, followed by heart attacks.
The most common form of heart diseases is also called coronary heart disease. In order for the heart to function properly, it too needs a supply of oxygen and nutrients which is obtained from the blood flowing to it in the coronary arteries. Various factors, including smoking and high blood cholesterol, cause coronary artery stenosis (narrowing)and partial occlusion of the blood flow inside them. Consequently, part of the myocardium (heart muscle) does not receive enough oxygen and nutrients.
Coronary atherosclerosis may also suddenly cause full occlusion of the artery by a blood clot. This condition is called myocardial infarction (a heart attack). In the event of a heart attack, the cells in the myocardial section deprived of blood supply die within a few minutes, thus impairing cardiac function. Both the location and the size of the infarct are affected by the location of arterial stenosis or occlusion.
Look into your heart – are you maintaining a healthy lifestyle
It is true that you cannot prevent all the risk factors of heart disease (such as age, gender, diabetes and genetics), but you definitely can prevent many of them.
In order to find out how to reduce your risk of developing heart disease, it is important to learn about the risk factors that hasten the development of the disease:
The most significant risk factor for heart attack at any age. Smoking clearly accelerates the pace of development of atherosclerosis, causes damage to various organs and increases the risk of stroke and cancer. (Please take note: even after years of smoking, the body can still cleanse itself. The risk of heart disease declines by about 50% after the first year since quitting smoking, and after 5-15 years, the risk is the same as that of a person who never smoked).
Cholesterol is a fatty substance required by our body for normal functioning. However, too high a level of LDL- Cholesterol (the “bad cholesterol”) in the body is a risk factor for developing atherosclerosis: cholesterol deposits form in the arterial wall, which may lead to arterial stenosis, and then even to myocardial infarction.
Regular physical activity strengthens the myocardium, and helps to lower blood pressure, promotes weight loss and relieves stress, and even increases the level of HDL- cholesterol (the “good cholesterol”, which helps us to minimize the effect of LDL- cholesterol (the “bad cholesterol”). Lack of physical activity increases the risk of heart diseases, high cholesterol and hypertension