WHAT IS the cardiovascular system?
The cardiovascular system is a closed circuit composed of the heart (pump) and the blood vessels. It is responsible for supplying the cells with energy and delivering the nutrients that the organs need. Understanding a little more about it will help you take care of your health.
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT BLOOD CIRCULATION
WHAT IS BLOOD CIRCULATION?Open tab
Blood circulation is carried out by the cardiovascular system. The circulatory system, the cardiovascular system or blood system, is a closed-circuit system that transports blood from the heart to the extremities to the various organs and back to the heart. It consists of the heart and the blood vessels that form the vascular system.
GENERAL FUNCTIONING OF THE CIRCULATORY SYSTEMOpen tab
Made up of the heart and the vessels (arteries and veins), the function of the cardio-vascular system is to distribute to the organs, through the blood, the oxygen and nutrients essential to their functioning, while eliminating their waste products.
The blood circulates inside a network made up of "pipes", with gauges perfectly adapted to their functions (arteries, capillaries and veins). Oxygen-laden blood is propelled into the aorta.
It then travels through the many secondary arteries that lead to different parts of the body.
Then from the arteries, which become narrower and narrower (the arterioles), the blood is led to the different organs. In each organ, the blood, circulating through the capillaries, distributes to the cells their ration of oxygen and nutrients, taking up, in exchange, carbon dioxide and waste products.
Cardiovascular Risks and FactorsOpen tab
Cardiovascular risk is the probability of developing a cardiovascular disease or accident as a result of blocked arteries. The walls of the arteries are most often blocked by deposits of fat that form plaques and eventually impede the circulation of blood that feeds all vital organs (especially the brain and heart).
This phenomenon is known as arteriosclerosis. A number of factors are responsible for this risk and contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease. Each individual may present one or more risk factors. In the latter case, it is important to understand that the risk factors do not add up, but rather they potentiate each other (they aggravate each other).
It is important to know the cardiovascular risk factors you are exposed to and not to underestimate them. If it is impossible to act on some of them (age, sex…), several risk factors can be reduced or eliminated (sedentary lifestyle, hypertension, overweight).
Certain everyday situations can also increase the risk of decreased blood flow. For example, sitting or standing for long hours can also affect blood circulation in the body, leading to cardiovascular risks at that time. Air travel also presents risks related to cabin pressurization. During flights, the pressure corresponds to that found at an altitude of 4,921 to 6,562 feet (1,500 to 2,000 meters) above sea level, which increases the risk of cardiovascular symptoms.
4 Tips to Improve Your Blood Circulation
1. Don’t SmokeOpen tab
While tobacco is well-known as a factor in cancer and respiratory disease, the major cardiovascular risk is often ignored or underestimated. In the short term, tobacco contributes to the narrowing of arteries, the formation of clots and the development of heart rhythm disorders.
These mechanisms explain the brutality of cardiovascular accidents. In the longer term, tobacco gradually damages the arteries. It is important to know that after one year without smoking, the risk of myocardial infarction is reduced by half and the risk of cerebrovascular accident is the same as that of a non-smoker.
2. Keep ActiveOpen tab
It is essential to remain physically active to reduce your sedentary time. By staying active, you will limit your weight gain and lower your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, which in turn will limit the amount of fat in your blood. To do so, we advise you to encourage activities in all situations of daily life, whether at work or at home.
These activities are not necessarily exercising even if it is of course good for your circulation. Getting up regularly from your office chair to stretch your legs, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, do craft or walking are activities that will help you improve your blood circulation and your health in general.
3. A Healthy DietOpen tab
Diet plays an essential role in the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system. Foods containing high levels of salt and bad fat should be avoided. We advise you not to add too much salt to your dishes and limit foods such as meat, dairy products, bread and certain cereals that contain bad fats. It has been demonstrated in scientific studies that following a Mediterranean-type diet may reduce cardiovascular risks.
This diet is mainly rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, oleaginous plants (colza, sunflower, peanut, soya, sesame, nuts, almonds) and olive oil. This diet also encourages regular consumption of poultry, fish and low consumption of sweets.
This low-fat Mediterranean diet has the anti-oxidant virtues necessary to improve your circulatory system. If necessary, you can also take dietary supplements with similar benefits to help improve your blood circulation, especially during long periods of inactivity in a sitting, standing or lying position.
4. Maintain a Healthy Body MassOpen tab
Overweight and obesity are well-known cardiovascular and cardio-metabolic risk factors.
Therefore, in clinical practice, body mass index (BMI) is an important element to consider in assessing the level of risk. A BMI between 25 (overweight) and 30 (obesity) already increases your chances of developing a cardiovascular pathology in the long term. We therefore recommend that you closely monitor your BMI.
You can calculate it by dividing your weight in pounds by the square of height in inches, multiplied by 703 according to the formula (example 155 lbs for 5 ft 10 in): (155 lbs / 70 in2)* 703 = 22.2.
However, factors such as age and gender as well as type of morphology must be taken into account. A 50-year-old man who practices bodybuilding and fitness for instance, will have a higher optimal BMI. What is important, is to know your own optimal BMI and monitor it regularly.