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Happy hearts will change your life!

We are very excited to announce that we will be starting happy hearts cardiac rehabilitation classes from 26th of November in Aura Leisure Centre Letterkenny. The classes will take place every Tuesday at 3pm with further classes to be added throughout the week. For more details on how to book for the classes please get in touch on 086 3034692.

The cardiovascular system consists of the heart and blood vessels, the arteries, veins and capillaries and approximately 5 litres of blood. This can be compared to a water pump and its system of pipes. In order for your body to function properly, all these components need to be working together and efficiently.

Th arteries carry oxygen rich blood from the heart, to every cell in the body, allowing us to function. Once the body has used the oxygen from the blood, the veins bring blood back to the heart and the whole process begins again.

Cardiovascular disease describes any issue that compromises the ability of the heart to pump blood around the body. This can happen when there is too much stress placed upon this system due to the clogging of arteries from plaque build-up which can be caused by poor lifestyle choices. Inactivity leading to deconditioning, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor dietary choices and a high stress life are all contributors. Disease can manifest in many different forms such as heart attacks, angina, chronic heart failure and many more.

There are many risk factors for cardiovascular disease. These risk factors can be subdivided into two groups, changeable and unchangeable factors. The unchangeable factors include age, gender, family history and ethnic origin. The changeable factors include smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, inactivity, obesity, type 2 diabetes, excessive alcohol consumption and psychological factors.

One of the most important interventions to prevent or slow the progress of chronic heart disease is exercise, particularly aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is also known as ‘cardio’ because it places a demand on the cardiovascular system, the heart and blood vessels. Aerobic exercise can vary from low intensity such as a slow walk for a healthy individual to high intensity such as marathon running for a healthy individual.

The demand that aerobic exercise places on the cardiovascular system leads to adaptation. This adaptation has a profound effect on those predisposed to having a cardiovascular disease and those recovering from a cardiac event or chronic cardiac disease. It reduces cholesterol, blood pressure, assists in weight loss and helps to regulate blood sugar levels. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 26% and reduce cardiovascular related hospital visits by 18%.

Exercise has been shown to have a positive effect on our mental health. The social aspect to cardiac rehabilitation classes creates a network whereby people can support and encourage one another to change their life for the better.

The overall positive impact of exercise on cardiovascular health is life changing.

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