Regular exercise could keep your arteries healthy
14 January, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Regular exercise could keep your arteries healthy and can prevent heart attack and stroke, says a report.
Arterial diseases are responsible for heart attacks and strokes, the first and third leading causes of death in American men. As a person grows old, arteries become stiffer, stickier and narrower, according to Newswise wire.
According to a report in the June issue of the Harvard Men's Health Watch, the culprit is atherosclerosis, in which cholesterol-laden plaques build up in the arteries.
As the plaques enlarge, the arteries narrow, impairing blood flow.
If a plaque ruptures, a blood clot forms that can block the artery completely, killing the cells that depend on that artery's blood supply. If this happens in an artery leading to the heart or brain, the result is a heart attack or stroke.
Exercise keeps arteries healthy by lowering bad cholesterol and boosting good cholesterol. It reduces other risk factors for atherosclerosis and blood clots, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and stress.
Regular exercise also helps arteries by boosting production of nitric oxide by the cells lining the arteries, which helps circulation.
New research in mice suggests that exercise stimulates bone marrow to produce new cells for arterial lining, which replace aging cells and repair damaged arteries.
"You don't have to be a triathlete to help your arteries stay young. Just two to three miles of brisk walking nearly every day will help," says the report quoting Harvey Simon, editor-in-chief of the Harvard Men's Health Watch.