The heart is the second most important organ in the body, after the brain. It is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body through the circulatory system. Thanks to the work of the heart, oxygen and nutrients travel through the blood vessels to each cell, in exchange for carbon dioxide and waste products then passed out through the lungs and kidneys. This organ ensures that blood flow is constantly moving throughout the body.
How does the cardiovascular system work?
On average, the heart beats about 2.5 billion times in a person’s lifetime. It works continuously, even when we are sleeping or resting. Together with its complex network of veins, arteries and capillaries, the cardiovascular system helps sustain life in its most basic.
The three main functions of the cardiovascular system are:
Transport nutrients, oxygen and hormones to cells throughout the body and eliminate waste products from metabolic processes (carbonic, urea …)
Protect the body through white blood cells, antibodies and complement circulating in the blood, against foreign microorganisms or toxins. The mechanism of blood clot formation also helps to protect the body from excessive blood loss after injury.
Regulates body temperature, pH and amount of water in cells.
How to preserve heart health for a long time
Lifestyle factors all have the potential to affect heart health, including smoking, managing body mass index (BMI), stress management and diet. In addition, adequate sleep and exercise are also important to the long-term healthy cardiovascular system.
Smoking is one of the biggest causes of many preventable conditions, including cardiovascular disease. This habit damages many parts of the body. Smoking will have many effects on heart health, including passive smoking. Tobacco smoke contains a mixture of more than 7,000 harmful chemicals that interfere with many important functions. One of them is the supply of oxygen to the heart and the body.
Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight and obese can lead to cardiovascular disease in many different ways. Obesity is often linked to diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. From there, you will easily develop many other health problems. You’ve probably heard a lot about the benefits of exercise for the body. In terms of the heart, exercise helps to lower blood pressure, keep cholesterol levels stable and limit fat accumulation in the heart and body.
Monitor blood pressure regularly
Excessive blood pressure causes the heart to work harder and faster than usual. Over time, you will develop heart disease related to high blood pressure – a leading cause of death in cardiovascular disease. Heart diseases associated with hypertension include ischemia, heart failure, and hypertrophic myocardium.
One of the group of substances you need to pay attention to when trying to improve your heart health is fat. Choose foods with healthy fats and avoid trans fats (also commonly found under the name trans fat). This type of fat is known to increase your risk of developing heart disease or stroke. Trans fats can clog arteries by increasing levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and lowering good cholesterol (HDL) levels in the blood. Therefore, if you cut down on these fats in your diet, your blood flow will be improved.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is an essential part of healthy heart health. Without adequate sleep, your risk of cardiovascular disease increases, regardless of your age or other healthy lifestyle habits. Researchers think that too little sleep disrupts biological processes and affects existing underlying medical conditions, related to both blood pressure and inflammation. Therefore, you should get 7–8 hours of sleep each day.
What happens when heart health is poor?
The heart is one of the most enduring organs, from birth to death. If it is weakened and deactivated, other functions in the body cannot continue either. Some organs seem to immediately “stop” when the heart stops beating.
The function of the heart can be impaired for many reasons. Some of the direct causes of heart failure are:
- High cholesterol
- Congenital heart disease
When cardiovascular health is not good, depending on the degree that you may encounter different problems. In it, you may encounter life-threatening problems, such as angina or stroke.
Other cardiovascular problems you may experience are:
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart rhythm disturbances
- Heart valve problems
- Peripheral artery disease
- Low heart
- Heart failure
Take care of your heart health today. It is never too early or too late to take care of your health.