The 4 Most Common Heart Conditions: a Cardiovascular Health Blog

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Your heart health is essential for overall well-being, yet navigating through the complexities of cardiovascular disease (CVD) terminologies can be daunting. In this blog, we’ll demystify some common terms associated with cardiovascular health in straightforward language. Moreover, we’ll delve into how incorporating exercise into your lifestyle can benefit you, the individual, in managing these conditions effectively.

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

High blood pressure means your heart is working harder than it should to pump blood throughout your body. Over time, this can lead to serious complications like heart disease and stroke.

Exercise for Hypertension

Regular physical activity, such as brisk walking, cycling, or dancing, helps keep your blood pressure in check. By incorporating at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise into your weekly routine, you can significantly lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of associated health issues.

Download a free resource from the Heart Foundation on blood pressure:

Atherosclerosis:

Diagram on the formation and progression of atherosclerosis in cardiovascular health.
Diagram on the formation and progression of atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis occurs when fatty deposits build up in your arteries, narrowing them and restricting blood flow. This increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Exercise Benefit for Atherosclerosis:

Engaging in aerobic exercises like jogging or swimming helps keep your arteries clear and flexible. By making exercise a regular part of your life, you can prevent plaque buildup in your arteries and maintain a healthy blood flow to your heart and other vital organs.

As well as improving artery health, general physical function improvements are a great side-effect of regular exercise. This will lead to more confidence when exercising and the ability to continue doing things you enjoy for longer.

Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack):

A diagram of the progression of heart attack in cardiovascular health.
Diagram on the progression of coronary artery disease. www.heartfoundation.org.au, 2024.

A heart attack happens when blood flow to part of your heart is blocked, leading to damage or death of heart muscle cells. Recognising the symptoms and seeking prompt medical attention is crucial.

Exercise Benefit for Post-Heart Attack:

Following a heart attack, incorporating exercise into your recovery plan can strengthen your heart, improve its function, and reduce the risk of future cardiac events. With guidance from healthcare professionals such as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP), you can safely reintroduce physical activity into your routine and enhance your overall heart health.

Recovery from a heart attack can be a long, slow road. Your AEP can check your blood pressure and heart rate as well as other cardiovascular measures in session to ensure all exercise is safe and manageable.

Click to download free Heart Attack Brochure from the Heart Foundation:

Arrhythmia:

Arrhythmias are irregular heart rhythms that can range from harmless to life-threatening. They may cause symptoms like palpitations, dizziness, or fainting. They are caused by a fault in the ‘electrical system’ of the heart which affects your heart’s pumping rhythm (Heart Foundation, 2024).

Exercise Benefit for Arrhythmia:

Moderate aerobic exercise can help regulate your heart rhythm and improve cardiovascular fitness. Before starting any exercise program, it’s essential to consult with your cardiologist to ensure it’s safe for you and tailored to your specific needs.

Summary:

3 Main Tips for Managing your Cardiovascular Health:

  1. Consult an Accredited Exercise Physiologist for return to/beginning exercise
  2. Get help in understanding your condition and what it means
  3. If you have any concerns, symptoms or chest pain – consult your GP


Understanding the terminology related to cardiovascular health empowers you to take control of your well-being. By incorporating regular exercise into your lifestyle, you can effectively manage your heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Remember, making small, consistent changes can lead to significant improvements in your overall health and quality of life.

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