To keep your arteries healthy, a regular exercise program is essential, reports the June issue of the Harvard Men's Health Watch.
Arterial diseases are responsible for heart attacks
and strokes, the first and third leading causes of death in American
men. 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 helps prevent atherosclerosis in a number
of ways. It keeps arteries healthy by lowering bad cholesterol and
boosting good cholesterol. And it reduces other risk factors for
atherosclerosis and blood clots, such as high blood pressure, diabetes,
obesity, and stress.
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