February is nation Heart Health Awareness month and at Align we are excited to participate. According to the American Heart Association, someone dies from heart disease, stroke or another type of cardiovascular disease every 43 seconds in this country! Making heart disease the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. But the good news is, it’s one of the most preventable diseases. With a nutrient-dense diet, exercise, and meditation a healthy heart is easy to achieve.
Heart Disease is actually a generic term for a variety of issues that take place within the Cardiovascular System. The Cardiovascular System is comprised of our blood, the blood vessels, and the heart. The intricate coordination of these three components is truly the life force of the human body. A properly functioning cardiovascular system delivers oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body like the organs, muscles, and bones. Making the health of this system crucial to the overall function of the human body, and its wellness.
Defects of the heart present at birth are known as congenital heart defects. Coronary artery disease, also called coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease, is a condition in which plaque that is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances in the blood, builds up inside the coronary arteries. This plaque build-up is called “atherosclerosis”. Plaque can grow large enough to reduce, or completely block blood flow through an artery. This plaque may rupture causing a “blood clot” to form. When the blockage takes place in a blood vessel that feeds the heart, the result is a “heart attack” or depending on the severity, Sudden Cardiac Death. If the plaque build-up or blood clot rupture occurs in the carotid arteries on either side of the neck, this is called Carotid Artery Disease and can result in a “stroke”. Peripheral Arterial Disease is when the major arteries that supply blood to the legs, arms or pelvis are obstructed. If blood flow to any of these areas of the body is reduced or blocked, numbness, pain and sometimes dangerous, infections such as gangrene can occur.
Rest assured! By choosing a heart-healthy lifestyle your chances of heart disease are greatly reduced. According to The Heart Foundation, engaging in moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week is part of a heart-healthy lifestyle. Pilates and yoga fit that prescription perfectly. Both Pilates and yoga are systems of exercises designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, and posture, and enhance mental awareness. Also, chronic stress has been strongly linked as a contributor to heart disease. The enhanced mental awareness, mindfulness, and meditative qualities of Pilates and yoga have proven to offset the negative effects of stress. Thus making both forms of movement a great choice for a healthy heart.
Come and experience Pilates and yoga this month at Align and fill your heart not only with love but with wellness too.