In the News
Vascular Health Clinics is always striving to educate the public about vascular disease. Read what has been said about us or what we have had to say about vascular health.
Call to request an appointment or to refer a patient:
Increasing exercise regimens can strengthen vascular health
Omar P. Haqqani, MD
Midland Daily News
April 30, 2017
Though the presence of vascular disease can ultimately mean having to undergo serious complications if left unmonitored, thankfully, many of these conditions can be treated, sometimes through minor to moderate lifestyle modifications. One of the more notable methods is through implementing an exercise regimen.
Though exercise alone won’t be enough to completely cure someone’s condition (eating healthy and possible surgical intervention may be necessary), the practice is an excellent way of strengthening muscles in the heart and lungs, allowing for blood to flow easily all throughout the body.
Luckily, many vascular conditions, such as peripheral vascular disease, stroke, and renal artery stenosis, can be improved through exercising regularly.
Peripheral vascular disease is developed over time as someone ages – a condition that causes plaque to build up on the inner walls of the arteries. This is caused by low-density lipoproteins, also known as the “bad” type of cholesterol, invading the arterial wall.
Because of this, muscle cells in this area of the artery overgrow, causing fat and calcium to build up within the irregular spaces of the blood vessels.
Diagnosed through a combination of physical examination and general testing, peripheral vascular disease can worsen to a point where arteries can become entirely plugged with plaque, not allowing for blood to flow all over the body.
The same can be said about those who are afflicted with stroke – when the carotid arteries become plugged with plaque; it means that blood flow is not able to reach the brain, causing an overabundance of complications.
Complications of stroke include, but are not limited to: Weakness, numbness, or tingling on one side of the body, often in an arm or leg, paralysis or loss of coordination, blindness or change of vision in the face or side of the mouth, loss of speech, difficulty using tongue, and memory loss.
This condition can also affect the renal arteries – the vascular connection between the aorta and kidneys. Physical inactivity can ultimately cause plaque to build in this passage, causing decreased blood flow and the arteries to narrow and stiffen.
Due to the severity of these condition’s effects, its important to understand what types of exercise can help alleviate the symptoms caused by these specific types of vascular disease.
When choosing a specific exercise to engage in, it’s important to recognize how different activities can aid your health in distinctive ways.
When it comes to improving vascular health, cardio exercises, including running, playing sports, or swimming can act as great methods of working the vascular and respiratory systems.
Any exercise that actively increases the body’s heart rate allows for the heart and lungs to become stronger, as the muscles are given a healthy dose of controlled stress, making them more viable and able to fend off potential illnesses.
A cardio-based exercise is typically considered to be one that elevates the body’s heart rate between 65-95% of its maximum potential.
Finding ways to engage in cardio-based exercise is extremely beneficial for a vascular lifestyle, and by gradually increasing the amount of exercise one engages in, either each day or week, the heart and lungs will naturally strengthen.
However, in order to develop a reliable exercise regimen, one must also stop engaging in any potentially unhealthy habits. Smoking, poor eating, and a sedentary lifestyle are among the most prominent of risk factors for this development.
Additionally, it is recommended that you consult with your medical doctor or vascular specialist, as well as a nutritionist, before moving forward with a specific diet or exercise regimen.
Those who have adopted a more sedentary lifestyle for an extended period of time may put themselves at risk by suddenly beginning either strenuous exercise or a new diet.
In conclusion, though it can always seem daunting or threatening to be diagnosed with a vascular disease, remember: In certain cases, minor changes to health, diet and exercise can make all the difference.
To learn more about vascular health and how lifestyle changes can help alleviate certain conditions, consult your medical doctor or vascular specialist, and log on to vascularhealthclinics.org.
Dr. Omar P. Haqqani is the chief of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at Vascular Health Clinics in Midland.
Can we improve this page?