Whichever way you look at it, the human heart is a phenomenal and amazing machine that is the engine and powerhouse that keeps you going and allows you to live a productive life.
Like any machine, your heart needs a bit of maintenance and regular care and attention if you are going to get the maximum use from this vital organ, so you do really need to take care of your ticker.
Not all of us are lucky enough to enjoy a perfect heart, and atrial fibrillation, or AFIB as it is also known, is a leading heart rhythm abnormality, that can lead to serious consequences if left untreated.
You can learn about what AFIB is here, and this article takes a look at how to go about protecting your heart so that you give yourself the best shot at a long and healthy life.
The engine room for your body
Your heart is an incredibly strong and of course, vital organ, as it is the engine room that keeps your body running at all times.
Your heart has two pumps, the stronger one does the job of using arteries to send blood combined with oxygen, away from the heart and all around your body. The other pump is no less important, and performs the task of using your veins to return the blood back to your heart and sending it to your lungs in order to get more oxygen.
Your heart also has an electrical system with the organ, that does the job of controlling the regularity and frequency of your heart’s pump, or the heart beat or pulse as we sometimes refer to.
The importance of checking your blood pressure
This amazing piece of human machinery is working away inside your body right now, but despite the fact that you may well feel fine and everything seems to be in working order, it is actually really important to get your blood pressure checked on a regular basis.
This advice is especially relevant as you get older. Using the engine analogy, an older car will be more prone to breakdown and repairs than a newer one normally, so the same line of thinking should be applied to your body, which means that you should get things checked out more often before, hopefully before any serious problems arise.
High blood pressure is a leading cause of strokes and heart disease and can also lead to other issues with your eyes and your kidneys.
Medication can be used to regulate your blood pressure and keep things under control. This is why it makes sense to get your blood pressure checked frequently, especially when you get older, so that any potential problem can be identified and treated as soon as possible.
Wear and tear
Your heart is unfortunately no different to many other mechanical components, in that it will inevitably show signs of wear and tear as you age.
Aging can cause some changes in your heart and blood vessels, meaning for example, that your heart probably won’t be able to beat as fast when you undertake a physical activity, as it used to.
Your heart beats exactly the same number of times per minute even when you are older, it is just the recovery process and the general aging process that can take its toll.
The sort of things that can happen to your heart as you get older is you can experience a hardening of the arteries and your blood vessels can become stiffer. Hardening of the arteries, or arteriosclerosis as it is known, is a common complaint and a cause of higher blood pressure.
In order to prevent or at least slow down wear and tear and other issues with your heart, there are a number of ways in which you can help yourself.
A healthy eating plan that involves eating foods which help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, will definitely be a positive move. You can also try to remain as physically active as possible, working within your limitations and building up your exercise routine and strength as you progress.
There is no question that a lack of a healthy diet and regular exercise, will increase your risk of heart problems.
Try to look after your ticker by adopting a healthy eating regime and taking some regular exercise. Also get your blood pressure checked regularly as you get older, as you don’t want the engine to break down if you can help it.
Joshua Dean works as a cardiologist. He likes to post his health insights on the internet. Look for his articles on many health and wellness sites.