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Your Gym Time can Counteract One of the Major Risk Factors of Cardiovascular Disease

Your Gym Time can Counteract One of the Major Risk Factors of Cardiovascular Disease

By Val Kirk, YWCA, Fitness on 25th, Personal Trainer

As the colder weather approaches, now is a good time to commit to your regular gym schedule. Winter in Saskatchewan can lead to inactivity for some as we huddle in-doors; avoiding the cold. However maintenance of your health and wellness does not take the winter off. For many in Canada, one of the major issues people contend with is Cardiovascular Disease. Inactivity is one of six recognized major risk factors. Your gym or aqua workouts can help in that regard.

The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology as well as the Canadian and American Heart and Stroke Foundation and countless other organizations, all say we need to be active for at least 150 minutes per week at a moderate intensity.  Statistically, we as a nation barely make 60 minutes a week and 40% of our school aged children are either unfit or obese.

Other Major Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease include:

Blood cholesterol levels: There are two types of cholesterol, LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein).  LDL is the one, if high, can lead to atherosclerosis, which is a build-up of plaque on artery walls, which contributes to heart disease and stroke. HDL is the good cholesterol that circulates around the body picking up excess LDL cholesterol and takes it back to the liver.  These essentially clean the body.  So, you want more of these than the LDL.

Pre-diabetes and diabetes: Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease which elevates levels of glucose or sugar in the body.  This is because the body cannot produce enough insulin or its cells cannot use insulin effectively.  Both pre-diabetes and diabetes are associated with obesity, lack of physical activity and poor dietary choices.

Overweight and obesity: Cardiovascular disease risk factors such as high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and high triglyceride levels (fats) all contribute to cardiovascular disease and stroke

Smoking: Every 7 minutes someone dies from heart disease or stroke.  16% of Canadians 15 yrs of age and older smoke (4.4 million).  The more you smoke the heart has to work harder which raises blood pressure.

Genetics: Plays a minor role in cardiovascular disease; however, if the family is predisposed to certain diseases risks may double. However, if that individual exercised and watched their diet closely or perhaps uses certain drugs to combat life expectancy may be increased.

For more information on how to get the most out of your exercise routine, discuss your health and wellness goals and plan with one of our personal trainers.