Introduction to Cardiovascular Health
Cardiovascular health involves the heart and blood vessels, the importance of which is known to all. The heart pumps blood into our blood vessels, which delivers oxygen to our organs, muscles, and the rest of our body. As we age, there will be changes to our heart and the blood vessels, that will cause restrictions in the way our cardiovascular system works. These changes include:
- Blocked or narrowed blood vessels that could cause a heart attack or stroke;
- The heart will have a more rigid structure, due to the muscles in the heart growing thicker;
- Decreased volume of the heart means lesser blood that will empty the heart in one beat, and more effort is needed to pump blood out;
- Hardening of the walls of our arteries. The artery itself originally has some elasticity which aids in pumping blood, however as it hardens, this function gradually diminishes;
- Problems with the heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm.
Introduction to Aging and Joint Health
Ahuman skeleton provides the support for the body and consists of bones connected by joints. Our joints allow us to move different parts of our body from the most basic everyday needs, such as walking, going up and down the stairs, to strenuous actions required in activities like sports. The spaces in between our joints consists of a connective tissue called cartilage. Cartilage serves to protect our bones from directly rubbing against each other as we move.
However, we begin to lose cartilage as we age, and this can cause wear and tear of the joints, leading to discomfort in our joints and an inconvenience to everyday life.
One of the major diseases related to joint health and aging is osteoarthritis. There are usually 3 characteristics associated with osteoarthritis: loss of cartilage, joint pain and inflammation and bone growth. Osteoarthritis is a common condition to most people of the middle or elderly age ranges.