The cardiovascular system translates to the organs involved in moving blood through the body. It includes the heart, lungs, blood and the vessels in which blood travels in. Having a healthy heart means more than a heart that can pump blood correctly through its four chambers effectively. Since the blood is the transportation system for nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and immune health, it is an imperative for a healthy body!
No matter who you are or what you do; your health can be improved with positive cardiovascular lifestyle habits.
How to develop the cardiovascular system
There are two parts to having a healthy cardiovascular system. One part is how strong it is, and the second is how clean it is. Think of your body as a city. The cardiovascular system is the highways and roadways. Without them, the city does not function. In a system that is running at high efficiency and at it’s perfect capacity, the routes are clean and clear, the roads are in good shape and people and things get transported quickly and efficiently.
In a system that is poorly maintained, there are potholes, accidents, slow moving vehicles and traffic jams.
To maintain your cardiovascular system, you must eat well and exercise.
Eating for a healthy cardiovascular system
The old expression “you are what you eat” is essentially what is true. Eating a lot of processed foods, high sugar foods and foods high in trans-fats leave a person with plaque in the transportation highways known as arteries. This slows down the system, reducing the capacity to pump nutrients in and waste out.
The good news is that anyone can improve their health by stopping the unhealthy processed foods and increasing vegetable intake. As a rule, you should not be eating foods that come from a package. Whole foods are the best for improved cardiovascular health. Vegetables that are green, orange, yellow and red all provide incredible health benefits and play a role in cleaning and maintaining the cardiovascular system.
STOP the junk, STOP the sugar. If you cannot pronounce what it is or where it came from, do not eat it!
Exercise for a healthy cardiovascular system
When it comes to exercise, there is a simple rule of thumb to follow. Cardiovascular health improves when the heart is being challenged to pump at a faster rate for a period of time. We are not talking about the kind of heart pumping that occurs under mental stress, but the kind that happens with exercise!
If you are not active at all, just taking a long and brisk walk is enough to repair and improve cardiovascular health. The US Surgeon general recommendation for physical activity in adults is to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week. This works out to 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week. The 30 minutes can also be broken up into 2 or 3 segments of 10 to 15 minutes to get the same benefit!
After you are comfortable with walking for 30 minutes per day, start cycling or adding more moderate-intensity exercises in each day. You will notice a huge improvement in your heart health. Things like climbing stairs will be easier, and leave you less breathless than before. This is a good way of gauging how your cardiovascular health is. You should be able to do a flight of stairs without panting!
Author: FD Bulsara