Athletes and Internal Health
Many people equate athletic prowess with consummate cardiological health. However, contrary to popular belief, many athletes compromise their heart and circulatory health through improper exercise and nutritionally deficient diets. Specific activities and dietary habits can bolster the likelihood of contracting cardiovascular illnesses and arterial injuries. Accordingly, preventative, dietary and fitness measures must be undertaken to preserve one’s internal health over the course of an athletic career.
Athletes must be especially attentive to their cardiovascular needs, especially considering their persistent engagement in physically taxing activities. Furthermore, external indications of athletic strength are not necessarily indicative of internal health. A seemingly healthy, toned, and robust athlete may very well falter in healthy habits and internal health. With this said, continue reading to discover strategically crafted tips for maintaining cardiovascular health.
Some athletes centralize their focus on aesthetic appearance, and go to concerted lengths to achieve a supreme muscularity and impressive tone. Quite often, however, when there is an undiverted focus on looks, internal health often suffers in the process. Just as the muscle groups undergo the process of hypertrophy and repair overnight, the heart requires its respective degree of care and consideration.
So what types of destructive habits do some athletes embark upon in the first place? Athletes who disregard their internal health, in favor of a robust appearance, may overconsume protein, along with fattening foods to achieve a bulkier appearance. Not only does this deprive the body of heart-aiding antioxidants and fiber, but it loads the arteries with the deleterious presence of saturated fats. This can increase the risk for stroke and heart attack, as well as heart disease. Furthermore, it can subject one to a stark increase in blood pressure, as well.
With this said, protein is not sufficient in the context of overall health. A diet must be enriched with heart healthy foods. One of the most recommended heart healthy foods for athletes, and everyday people, is salmon. It contains a healthy dose of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, along with magnesium, folate and niacin. Furthermore coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids, which are also conducive to heart health.
Almonds and walnuts should also be consumed regularly for heart health, as they are equipped with magnesium, fiber, and mono and polyunsaturated fats. Brown rice is reinforced with B-vitamins, along with fiber, magnesium and niacin, which contribute greatly to heart health.
Of course, no food can usurp the place and importance of both fruits and vegetables. Carrots, blueberries, spinach and broccoli should be consumed routinely in order to promote heart health. Carrots, which contain both carotene and fiber, can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Spinach promotes heart function because it is loaded with potassium, calcium, fiber and magnesium. And finally, broccoli is equipped with many heart promoting nutrients as well, including magnesium, folate, calcium and potassium.
Additional heart healthy foods include red bell pepper, sweet potato, oranges, tomatoes and squash.
Some rely on anabolic steroids in order to amplify both muscle and strength. However, steroids are distinguishably unique in their ability to undermine heart health. Steroids can constrict arteries, increase arterial plaque, along with the likelihood of heart disease, high blood pressure, and the necessity for heart bypass surgeries. With this said, all athletes should rely exclusively on natural supplements and nutrition for energy and strength.
Because performance enhancing drugs have such a compromising effects on those who take them, they can precipitate a number of other conditions, including gynecomastia, impotence, infertility, balding, bad cholesterol levels, mood disturbances, and an enlarged heart.
Consistent long distance running has been associated with arterial damage, along with an increased risk for heart attack. Of course, many athletic careers entail long distance running. In this case, an athlete must work to counterbalance these effects.
Proper exercise includes both resistance training and cardiovascular exercise that does not exceed 1 hour at a time. When an individual runs long distances, or engages in vigorous exercise for over an hour at a time, they damage their arteries and synthesize much higher levels of cortisol in the blood stream, which leads to hypertension and high cholesterol levels.
And finally, it is always recommended that one gradually increase their workout intensity over time so that their cardiovascular system can adapt accordingly.
For more information on sports medicine, visit these websites: http://ukhealthcare.uky.edu/sports-med/