- Atherosclerosis--narrowing of the arteries due to plaque formation
- Coronary artery disease (CAD)--narrowing of the coronary arteries usually caused by excessive smoking, hypertension, elevated LDL, low HDL, obesity, diabetes, various genetic factors as well as a sedentary lifestyle.
- Ischemia--occurs when a portion of the heart receives less blood flow due to a narrowing of the arteries causing chest pain
- Myocardial infarction--heart attack caused by severe blood loss to the heart
- Hypertension--excessive high blood pressure (i.e., above 140 systolic, above 90 diastolic) caused by excessive sodium consumption, obesity, genetic factors and a sedentary lifestyle
- Stroke--caused by a narrowing of the cerebral arteries supplying blood to the brain. A cerebral infarction is caused by a blood clot while a cerebral hemorrhage is caused by a ruptured artery.
- Congestive heart failure--the heart muscle becomes too weak to maintain adequate cardiac output which causes blood to back up into the veins causing edema.
- Arteriosclerosis--caused by the artery walls becoming thickened and hardened
- Peripheral vascular disease--involves systemic arteries and veins (i.e., vericose veins)
- Congenital heart disease--a heart defect that is presented at birth
Here are some of the benefits of exercise with respect to the cardiovascular system:
- Decreases heart attack risk
- Increases artery diameters
- Maintains artery pliability
- Increases heart size
- Increases heart pumping capacity which increases stroke volume
- Decreases blood pressure levels
- Decreases total cholesterol
- Decreases LDL
- Increases HDL
- Decreases triglyceride levels
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."