Your Vascular Health

One of the miracles of modern technology is that human beings continue to live longer and longer.  Life expectancy has been on a constant rise for decades.  Unfortunately, this often means that people are living longer with chronic conditions.  Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death and disability, and thus is a major concern public health.

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Cardiovascular health is important to all of us, even and especially among the elderly.  Oftentimes, CV conditions develop not as a result of the aging process itself, but as a result of years worth of accumulated habits and exposures.  Plaque builds up in the arteries, they thicken or narrow as they must.

It is important to know that good vascular health can be improved and maintained throughout life, and it is doubly important for senior citizens, since CV disease primarily affects their age group.  The life-threatening circumstances that build up over a lifetime only increase the likelihood of a serious cardiovascular event.

There are a few things that have been shown to greatly improve vascular health, regardless of the age at which they are began.  Quitting smoking and moving to a healthy diet full of low-fat options and good cholesterol are useful tips at any age--but become even more important as the years pass.  The same is true of exercising.  Investing your time and effort into even a moderate exercise program can provide great benefits to your life and health.  It is also important to make regular check-ups a part of your health routine, to track and fight problems as they come.

Anyone over the age of 55 should have a conversation with their primary care physician about their state of vascular health.  If any problems are detected and diagnosed, seek treatment immediately.  Early knowledge is one of the best methods of control when CV disease is discovered.  Treatments will certainly vary--depending on the type of issue and its severity, there could be any number of medical options from surgery to lifestyle changes.

“Lifestyle changes.”  Just that small phrase alone can seem like a daunting challenge.  However, if you choose to try and alter your habits, it could end up saving your life.  Try taking it slowly.  If you are the sort of person who hates working out, try adding a moderate routine to your schedule a couple of times a week, and increase it as you grow accustomed to it.  Try changing one aspect of your favorite meal instead of the whole thing--maybe a salad with the burger instead of a mound of french fries.  Baby steps like these can make the huge task of altering a lifetime of cultivated habits into a simple, and even enjoyable, start of a new path in life.