Heartsakes For the sake of your heart

Understanding Your Heart

Your heart is one the most vital organs in your body and it is important to have some understanding of how it works.

Blood circulates through your body, entering your heart through veins, and exiting through your arteries. When blood reaches your lungs, it gathers oxygen. This blood enters the left side of the heart, flowing in to a chamber called the ‘left atrium’.

The heart has four chambers: the left and right atrium, and the left and right ventricle. The blood in the left atrium will flow into the left ventricle through a one-way valve. It will then leave the heart through the aorta – the body’s largest artery. This blood carries oxygen to all parts of your body.

As it exhausts its oxygen to the body, the blood obtains carbon dioxide. Now depleted of oxygen, the blood re-enters the heart. It flows through your veins before entering through the right atrium. Similar to the left atrium, the right atrium empties the blood into the right ventricle through a one-way valve. The blood then leaves the heart through an artery. Various arteries carry the blood back to your lungs, where most of the carbon dioxide is depleted, and oxygen regained. The process now starts again.

Your arteries are responsible for carrying blood to all parts of your body. The pulse you can sometimes feel is the throbbing of the arteries as blood pumps through them. Considering this, it is important to keep your arties clear and healthy.

There are two types of cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) often called ‘bad’ and ‘good’ cholesterol respectively. In basic terms, ‘bad’ cholesterol is a fatty substance that can clog your arteries if too much is carried in your blood. On the other hand, high amounts of ‘good’ cholesterol in your blood can reduce that fatty substance and keep your arteries clear.

The Majority of ‘Bad’ cholesterol comes from saturated fat and tobacco smoking, and while exercise is the best source for ‘good’ cholesterol, it cannot generate HDL at the same rapidity that saturated fat and tobacco generate LDL.

For the health or your heart, it is important to keep your consummation of saturated fat to a minimum, maintain regular exercise, and reconsider your smoking habits.