The vascular system, also known as your circulatory system, delivers oxygen and nutrients to all the cells in the body. If it is not functioning properly, a wide range of problems can develop, so it is vital to take care of it as best you can.
What is the vascular system?
Your vascular system is made up of the heart and blood vessels, which send vital elements around the body whilst removing waste products.
The vascular system consists of the following:
- Heart – pumps blood around the body
- Arteries – carry oxygenated blood away from the heart
- Veins – carry deoxygenated blood back to the heart
- Capillaries – deliver oxygen and nutrients to the organs and tissues around the body, and pass waste back to the circulatory system
Why is it important?
Without the vital work of your vascular system, you couldn’t survive. Every tissue in your body needs the life-giving blood delivered by your vascular system to do its job – even nerves need a constant supply of blood to maintain function. So, if something goes wrong with your vascular system, things go wrong everywhere.
There are numerous conditions associated with vascular system dysfunction, including several heart conditions, high blood pressure, vasculitis, varicose veins, blood clots and stroke.
How can I look after my vascular system?
These are some of the best ways to keep your vascular system happy and healthy:
- Regular cardiovascular exercise helps to keep your heart strong and improve blood flow throughout the body.
- A balanced diet that includes fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains, and limits saturated fats, added sugars and sodium will support the health of your heart.
- Smoking increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, so quitting is highly advisable.
- Managing stress, for example with meditation, breathing exercises or yoga, will reduce the impact on your heart.
- Sitting still for long periods of time can restrict blood flow, so make sure you get up and move around at least once an hour.
Eating a diet that is high in cholesterol or fatty foods and living a sedentary lifestyle can lead to a build-up of plaque inside the arteries, which reduces the amount of blood that can flow through them! This means that organs and tissues will not receive enough of the nutrients they need, so eating well and getting regular exercise is a must!
If you want to talk more about looking after your vascular system, call us on 9838 3030 or email PhilipWoodPhysiotherapy@gmail.com and we’ll do our best to answer any questions you have.