What is your favorite song right now? Intuitively, we all know that the music we love makes our hearts sing and makes us feel good. Now scientists have confirmed that listening to your favorite songs literally reduces your risk for heart disease by improving endothelial function of your blood vessels.
Scientists have found that the combination of listening to music that you love and moving your body to your favorite song creates a winning formula for well being. Heart disease and obesity are leading causes of death in the United States.
Researchers in Europe have made a breakthrough discovery that listening to your favorite music triggers biological changes that improve the lining of your blood vessels (endothelial function) and reduces the risk of heart disease. The researchers found that combination of physical activity while listening to your favorite music improved endothelial function exponentially.
The cardio-vascular system is made up of the heart, lungs, blood vessels and lymph system. The heart is a muscle that works and rests in a short cycle from before birth to death. Like any muscle, it grows fit (meaning works to capacity with ease) when challenged with exercise or grows lazy (has no reserve capability) with lack of exercise. The muscles that pull the lungs open so air rushes into them can only be exercised by periods of over use (exercise) to build up strength too.
Muscles build strength and size because of small amounts of damage done to them by overuse (exercise). Larger sized muscles need more energy and so burn more calories even at rest. Bones answer the challenge of being pounded by hitting the ground during running, jogging, or walking by building up in strength. The matrix of the bone fills in with calcium and minerals. Of course, one must have a good diet to provide the building materials! The musculo-skeletal system thus benefits from exercise.
Finding and treating diabetes early can prevent health problems later on. Many people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms and do not know they have diabetes. Some people are at higher risk for diabetes than others. People at high risk include those who:
-are older than 45
-have a close family member such as a parent, a brother, or a sister who has or had diabetes
-had diabetes during pregnancy
-had a baby that weight more than 9 pounds
-are African American, Hispanic or Latino, Asian American or Pacific Islander, or Native American
-have high blood pressure
-have high cholesterol or other abnormal blood fats
Green tea contains catechin polyphenols, specifically epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a very powerful antioxidant that has been known to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, effectively lower LDL cholesterol levels, and also inhibit abnormal formation of blood clots.
The particular reason green tea is always cited as a superior health choice when it comes to tea, is its minimal processing. Green tea leaves are withered and steamed rather than fermented like black and oolong teas. This is what prevents the EGCG compound from being oxidized, resulting in its catechins and EGCG to be more concentrated.
Although green tea is not being “prescribed” for lowering LDL cholesterol levels, the evidence is clear that it can help with lowering the “bad” cholesterol levels. When consumed regularly, green tea contributes to an overall healthier lifestyle and even to the prevention of heart disease.
Coronary artery disease is the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, usually caused by atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis (sometimes called “hardening” or “clogging” of the arteries) is the buildup of cholesterol and fatty deposits (called plaques) on the inner walls of the arteries. These plaques can restrict blood flow to the heart muscle by physically clogging the artery or by causing abnormal artery tone and function.
Without an adequate blood supply, the heart becomes starved of oxygen and the vital nutrients it needs to work properly. This can cause chest pain called angina. If blood supply to a portion of the heart muscle is cut off entirely, or if the energy demands of the heart become much greater than its blood supply, a heart attack (injury to the heart muscle) may occur.
It has long been said that swimming is the best exercise for persons with asthma, and with good reason. The air that you breathe while swimming is usually warm and moist and so the effect of exercise on the breathing tubes is less.
In asthma, loss of heat and moisture from the walls of the bronchial tubes makes them contract.
Wheezing, chest tightness, and cough often come on just after you stop exercising. If you simply rest, the symptoms usually go on their own after about 30-60 minutes. If you use your inhaled broncho-dilator, the asthmatic symptoms go away immediately. Unlike other triggers that set off asthma, especially allergic triggers like dust and cat dander, exercise -like swimming- has no lingering effect on the bronchial tubes. After you have recovered back to normal, there are no late effects that night or the next day.
Generally, the more active your asthma, the more susceptible you are to developing symptoms after exercise. The goal of good asthma care is to keep your asthma quiet and to allow you to exercise as fully as you wish. As you know, many Olympic athletes have asthma. Their asthma has not inhibited their exercise performance, and your asthma need not limit yours.
Although you might know that eating certain foods can increase your heart disease risk, it’s often tough to change your eating habits.
How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Overloading your plate, taking seconds and eating until you feel stuffed can lead to eating more calories, fat and cholesterol than you should. Portions served in restaurants are often more than anyone needs. Keep track of the number of servings you eat — and use proper serving sizes — to help control your portions. Eating more of low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and less of high-calorie, high-sodium foods, such as refined, processed or fast foods, can shape up your diet as well as your heart and waistline.
Eat vegetables and fruits:
Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals. Vegetables and fruits are also low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Vegetables and fruits contain substances found in plants that may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Eating more fruits and vegetables may help you eat less high-fat foods, such as meat, cheese and snack foods.
Treatment of myocardial ischemia is directed at improving blood flow to the heart muscle. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may be treated with medications, undergo a surgical procedure or both.
Medications that can be used to treat myocardial ischemia include:
–Aspirin. Your doctor may recommend taking a daily aspirin or other blood thinner.This can reduce the tendency of your blood to clot.
–Nitroglycerin. This medication temporarily opens arterial blood vessels, improving blood flow to and from your heart.
–Beta blockers. These medications help relax your heart muscle, slow your heartbeat and decrease blood pressure so blood can flow to your heart more easily.
–Cholesterol-lowering medications. By decreasing the amount of cholesterol in your blood, especially low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol, these drugs decrease the primary material that deposits on the coronary arteries.
–Calcium channel blockers. Calcium channel blockers, also called calcium antagonists, relax and widen blood vessels.
–Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. These drugs help relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
Treatments for coronary heart disease (CHD) include lifestyle changes, medicines, and medical procedures. Treatment goals may include:
–Reducing risk factors in an effort to slow, stop, or reverse the buildup of plaque.
–Lowering the risk of blood clots forming. (Blood clots can cause a heart attack.)
–Widening or bypassing clogged arteries.
–Preventing complications of CHD.
–Making lifestyle changes often can help prevent or treat CHD. Lifestyle changes might be the only treatment that some people need.
–A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Following a healthy diet can prevent or reduce high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol and help you maintain a healthy weight.
Electromyography (EMG) tests analyze nerve and muscle electrical activity. Some types of electrical activity are normal, whereas some patterns of electrical activity suggest a disease of nerves or muscles. Nerve conduction studies are tests that are often used in combination with the EMG evaluation. For nerve conduction studies, the muscles and nerves are stimulated with small bursts of electricity to see whether the nerves and muscles respond in a normal way.For the EMG or NCS, thin needles are inserted one by one into the muscles being tested. These needles are not hollow, and they are thinner than the type of needle used to draw blood. Each needle is attached to a wire that gives signals to a machine. The needle acts like an antenna to detect electrical patterns inside the muscle and the nerves that are attached to that muscle. Most patients find this test mildly uncomfortable.
If you have nerve conduction studies done, small pads are taped to the skin on your hands or feet. These pads can both deliver mild electric shocks and detect electric signals coming through the skin. The shocks that are used are too small to be harmful. They feel similar to the kind of shock you might feel if you rubbed your feet on the carpet and then touched a doorknob. You might feel one of your muscles twitch when the electricity is delivered.