10 best exercise to strengthen your heart

10 best exercise to strengthen your heart
The heart is the most critical organ of the human body. And strengthening the heart is one of the best things to ensure you are healthy and fit. The heart gets stronger and healthier if one leads an active life. The most efficient form of powering the heart is to exercise daily, at least for 30 minutes. As per research, people who do not exercise are twice more likely to get heart diseases than the ones who engage in regular exercising. Regular exercises, especially the ones directed at the heart’s health can help to: Burn excess caloriesLower the blood pressureReduce LDL or bad cholesterolBoost the HDL or good cholesterol However, not all types of exercises are beneficial for the heart. Here are the top 10 exercises to strengthen the heart and stay fit. Walking: Even though considered too mainstream, walking, and especially brisk walking has shown results in improving the condition of the heart. Walking fast pushes the heart rate up, as well as it is easier on the joints than many other types of exercises. Walking also positively impacts cardiac risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, vascular stiffness and inflammation. Moreover, it also helps the body relieve some mental stress and keep the heart-healthy. This easy form of exercise can be done anywhere and at anytime. However, one must remember to walk with supportive shoes. Aerobic exercises: Aerobic exercises such as running and biking are some exercises which can help improve the health of the heart. These activities raise the heartbeat of a person, causing them to breathe harder, thereby providing strength to the heart muscles. However, one should not be too hard on them and take it slow initially. Moreover, if running or jogging is taxing one’s joints, other forms of low-impact aerobic exercises can be adopted. Weight training: As per a study, lifting weights for less than an hour help can reduce the chances of a heart attack and stroke by 40-70 per cent. Also known as resistance or strength training, this form of exercise uses the resistance to muscular contraction to build the strength, endurance and size of skeletal muscles. This form also increases bone density, lean muscle mass, as well as heightens the body’s insulin sensitivity. All this helps to keep heart risk factors at bay and help maintain a healthy weight. The most useful form of weight training is by using one’s body weight. Swimming: Swimming is also a type of aerobic exercise whichstrengthens the heart by causing it to become larger; thus, making it more efficient in pumping blood and ultimately result in better blood flow throughout the body. As per research, 30-40 minutes of swimming can reduce the risk of coronary heart issues in women by almost 30-40 per cent. Swimming is also easy on the joints and allows you to carry on without any pain. Yoga: Apart from relieving the body of stress, which is a big risk for heart disease, yoga also helps to lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood glucose...
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Cardiac CT for calcium scoring

Cardiac CT for calcium scoring
Cardiac CT for calcium scoring, also medically called the coronary calcium scan or coronary artery calcium (CAC) scoring is a type of test which measures the calcium-containing plaque in the arteries. The test uses special X-ray tests to get detailed pictures of the inside of the heart. Most calcium is the body is found in the bones and teeth, which helps them stay strong and healthy. However, calcium accumulation in the arteries is not a healthy sign. Calcium accumulated plaque in the arteries can grow and then restrict the blood flow to the muscles of the heart. Measuring the level of calcified plaque via a cardiac CT can help the doctor to identify potential coronary artery disease, even before the person experiences any signs and symptoms. The results of the CT scan help the doctor to determine the cause, intensity of the problem and then accordingly initiate treatment. Need for the test  The doctor may ask the patient for cardiac CT to get a better understanding of the heart disease or when the treatment course is yet to be decided. A cardiac CT scan uses specialized X-ray technology, known as multidetector-row or multislice computerized tomography (CT) to obtain images of the plaque deposits in the blood vessels of the heart. Plaque is a fatty composition of cholesterol, calcium and other materials found in the blood. It accumulated over time and sticks to the walls of the arteries, causing narrowing or blockages and further heart problems. Plaque restricts the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the muscles of the heart. It can also burst, thereby leading to the formation of blood clots that travel through the bloodstream and cause a heart attack. Use of the test A cardiac CT scan is used to detect the intensity of the situation, assess the presence of calcium in the plaque and accordingly frame the further course of action in terms of the treatment plan. The cardiac CT scan is most helpful in cases where the patient has a moderate risk of heart disease or the exact cause of the heart problem is not clear. This scan can also help people to make important lifestyle modifications and follow treatment. However, the heart scan requires the person to be exposed to radiation. Even though the exposure is considered safe, yet the scan is not recommended if the risk of radiation is more than the benefit. That said, a heart scan is not recommended for the below types of patients: Men under the age of 40 and women under the age of 50 years since it is very unlikely to detect calcium at a younger agePeople with a very low risk of heart problem because detecting calcium with such patients is not easy unless they have a family history of heart problemsPeople who have a high risk since the scan will provide no details than already known. This is very applicable for heavy smokers or people with diabetes and high cholesterol levelsPatients that have symptoms or existing diagnosis...
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Heart Murmurs – Symptoms and Causes

Heart Murmurs – Symptoms and Causes
Heart murmurs are typical whooshing or swishing sounds made by the blood in or near the heart during a heartbeat cycle. Generally, a heartbeat makes a ‘lubb-dupp’ sound upon the closing of the heart valves, which can be heard via a stethoscope. However, in a heart murmur, the sound of the heartbeat is abnormal. Murmurs can be benign or could indicate a potentially serious heart condition. These could be present at birth (congenital) or can occur later in one’s life. However, heart murmurs are not a disease but can be an indication of an underlying issue. That said, most of the heart murmurs are harmless and do not require any form of treatment. However, in some cases, the condition would need to be monitored to check the underlying heart condition. Causes of heart murmurs Heart murmurs are vibrations or sounds of turbulence, caused by the blood when it flows through the heart. This happens when the valves, which typically make a valve sound, start to make a heart murmur because they do not open or close properly, thereby causing the blood to leak backwards or restrict going forward. This can occur due to various causes, which also can be described as the type of murmur, such as: Innocent heart murmur: This type is very common in newborns and children; the person with an innocent heart murmur usually has a normal heart. However, in this condition, the blood flows more rapidly than the normal speed through the heart, causing a murmur. Some factors which can trigger innocent heart murmurs include: Physical activity or strenuous exercisePregnancyFeverLack of healthy blood cellsExcessive levels of thyroid hormones in the bodyRapid growth phases, such as adolescence Innocent heart murmurs can be temporary and go away on their own or could be life long, while not causing any further complications. Abnormal heart murmurs: Abnormal heart murmurs in children are caused because of structural problems of the heart at the time of birth. These are also known as congenital heart defects. Some common congenital defects include: Holes in the heart or cardiac shunts: Also called septal defects, the holes in the heart can cause abnormal heart murmurs and could potentially be serious. For cardiac shunts, the heart experiences an abnormal flow of blood between the heart chambers or the blood vessels, causing a murmur.Heart valve abnormalities: Heart valve abnormalities can cause the valves to restrict the blood flow (known as stenosis) and in other cases, some valves do not close properly or cause a leakage, resulting in a murmur (called regurgitation). That said, causes of abnormal heart murmurs in adults include infections and several other factors which damage the structure of the heart. Such as: Valve calcification: This condition causes hardening and thickening of valves can happen as one age. This can cause the valves to become narrow, making it harder for blood to flow through the heart, thereby causing abnormal heart murmurs.Endocarditis: This state is the one in which the inner lining of the heart and valves are infected because of bacteria and...
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