The coronary arteries are the arteries supplying blood to the heart. Coronary heart disease is literally the blockage of these arteries which inhibits blood flow to the heart. While there are medical reasons why this would happen, it is typically caused by diet and an unhealthy lifestyle. The blood flow is blocked by fatty deposits and cholesterol staying in the arteries making them smaller; meaning a diminishing amount of oxygen is getting to the heart. If the heart is starved of oxygen it cannot work properly and death may occur.
The symptoms and effects of coronary heart disease is typically a loss of breath and differing levels of angina. As this persists and remains untreated, the risk of heart attack and long term damage to the heart steadily increases. Because of the serious effects it can have, coronary heart disease is a number one killer in many countries across the globe.
Coronary heart disease has a number of causes of varying risk factors. Common factors include smoking, obesity, diabetes, high alcohol consumption, family history of the same, hypertension and a lack of exercise. Of these smoking, obesity and lack of exercise account for over 70% of cases.
Treatment can be a mixture of medicinal and lifestyle but medicine will not work on its own. Treatment of this type of disease requires huge changes to lifestyle and diet. Surgical remedies such as bypasses are also available in some cases where it may be the last option.
Exercise can help prevent coronary heart disease and increasing your fitness level. In cases of obesity, exercise is necessary to reduce the body weight. Aerobic exercise to ‘burn’ body fat is an excellent way of helping to manage heart disease and is one of the first things that professionals will advise. Walking, jogging or swimming are examples of this. Over time, the body should see both blood pressure and cholesterol levels decline which will help manage the effects of coronary heart disease.
In the cases where weight is not an issue but heart disease is evident, exercise is used to promote a healthier lifestyle. Much in the same way for an obese patient, aerobic exercise will be used to promote general well-being and lower blood pressure. However, as a patient is able to accomplish more with the levels of intensity in their cardio program, they will be able to vary the range of exercises.
Stress levels can also be a cause of heart disease, but more probable, a barrier to treatment. If the body is in a state of stress then it has to work harder to do routine tasks. By sticking to a consistent exercise program, a person can relieve some stress. Exercising causes the release of a group of hormones called endorphins which is our bodies’ natural ‘feel good factor’.
While heart disease is both serious and potentially deadly, it is not untreatable. Medicinal and surgical treatments can help either prevent or treat existing coronary heart disease. However, nothing will be achieved unless a person changes their lifestyle. A prescription of regular exercise and a change in diet is always the best medicine.