We all know that physical activity has major health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. But did you know it can also help prevent and manage atherosclerosis?
Atherosclerosis is a hardening of the arteries caused by the buildup of fatty deposits. As these deposits accumulate, they make it increasingly difficult for blood to flow through the arteries, leading to a higher risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
Regular physical activity, however, can help decrease the risk of atherosclerosis by increasing heart rate and improving blood circulation. This improves artery health by preventing fatty deposits from building up and breaking down existing plaque.
Benefits of Exercise and Physical Activity For Atherosclerosis
Exercise and physical activity have been proven to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis by:
• Reducing levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. High levels of cholesterol and triglycerides can make it difficult for the body to absorb and process fats, leading to a buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries. Regular physical activity can reduce these levels and help prevent fatty plaque buildup.
• Increasing levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. HDL helps remove cholesterol from your arteries, reducing the risk of plaque buildup.
• Improving the functioning of the lining of the arteries. Regular physical activity helps the arteries become more flexible and elastic, which helps them resist plaque buildup.
• Reducing blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause wear and tear on the artery walls, increasing the risk of atherosclerosis. Exercise and physical activity can help keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
Tips for Getting Started With Exercise and Physical Activity
If you’ve been diagnosed with atherosclerosis, or are looking to reduce your risk of developing it, here are some tips to get you started on the right track:
• Speak with your healthcare provider before you start any exercise program. Your doctor will be able to give you individualized advice and help you set realistic goals.
• Start out slow and gradually increase the intensity and frequency of your exercise.
• Choose activities that you enjoy and are more likely to stick with.
• Make exercise a regular part of your routine and look for ways to incorporate it into your daily life.
Overall Benefits of Regular Exercise and Physical Activity For Atherosclerosis
Regular exercise and physical activity are key for preventing and managing atherosclerosis. Doing just 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week can have a significant impact on your cardiovascular health. In addition to reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, exercise and physical activity can help reduce stress levels, improve your emotional and mental wellbeing, and help you maintain a healthy weight.
So if you’ve been diagnosed with atherosclerosis or are looking to reduce your risk of developing it, make physical activity a regular part of your life. Even small changes can yield big benefits.
Keywords: atherosclerosis, exercise, physical activity, heart health, cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, arteries, blood pressure