Coronary Heart Disease occurs when the coronary arteries become narrowed due to excess plaque around the arterial walls.
A coronary artery is a blood vessel that provides oxygenated blood to the heart to ensure it work effectively to keep us alive. When these blood vessels are narrowed, the heart is not suppled with enough oxygen, causing the heart muscle to die or work inefficiently. This causes major problems including as angina, heart attack and death.
The build up of plaque within an artery is called Atherosclerosis. Plaque is made of excess fatty material and cholesterol that can stick to the walls of arteries causing the artery to narrow. It can be caused by a poor diet and lifestyle, high blood pressure, smoking and high cholesterol. Excess plaque found on arterial walls can create blood clots which have the potential to move away from the arterial wall and create blockages in the heart, lunges or brain creating a significant medical emergency.
Heart disease kills 51 Australians every day and is the leading chronic health condition in Australia. Research shows that regular exercise can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by up to 35%. To reduce the risk of heart disease, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes a healthy balance of exercise and healthy food choices. It is recommended that we aim to complete at least 150 minutes of exercise per week of moderately vigorous intensity.
Exercise helps to lower many of the risk factors involved with developing heart disease such as lowering blood pressure, body weight, cholesterol and it can also help to strengthen the heart muscle itself. If you have a pre-existing heart disease or condition, it is important that you discuss exercising with your Doctor to ensure there are no considerations when starting out. An Exercise Physiologist will also be able to develop an appropriate exercise program to ensure exercise intensity and mode is appropriate to the person.