The heart is only fist-size and under normal conditions, beats 60-70 times per minute. This works out to an unbelievable 1.5+ billion beats in 50 years. Your heart is a “blood pumping regulator with valves” and gets its blood supply from blood vessels on the heart’s surface. These are called coronary arteries and Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) is any group of symptoms attributed to blockage or obstruction of the arteries. 50% of heart disease is caused by this.

The leading cause of death in Malaysia is heart disease. It’s also called Cardiovascular Disease or CVD. Basically, cardio is heart and vascular is vessel. But what exactly is CVD and what can we do to improve our cardio health? 

CVD is not a single condition. It is actually a general term used to describe heart and blood vessels conditions. Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the most common and this comes about when your heart’s blood supply is blocked by a fatty substance called atheroma. This fatty-plaque build-up process in the coronary arteries is called atherosclerosis. Caused by lifestyles’ detrimental habits, CVD patients suffer from blocked blood vessels that prevent normal blood flow to disrupt regular function of the heart. High risks to coronary arteries come from diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, obesity and the ills of sedentary lifestyles.

Statistics reveal that 1 in 5 Malaysians above 18 have high cholesterol levels while 42% of “over 30” have high blood pressure. The National Cardiovascular Database cited that Malaysia has some of the world’s youngest heart attack patients. With women, heart disease is also the leading killer - with 250% higher death numbers than deaths from all cancers combined. In the US, CVD causes some 600,000 deaths a year. In Britain, 1 in 3 of all deaths is cardiovascular related and 180,000 people died from heart disease in 2009.

But the fate of your heart is mostly in your hands. That’s the good news. And you can help prevent heart disease! Just follow these 4 Golden Heart Rules:

Eat healthy balanced diet
Quit smoking
Control blood cholesterol and sugar levels

With exercise, long working hours and hassles of city traffic means that many health-conscious city folks resort to exercise equipment to keep fit and stay in shape. Some folks are more focus but the most popular exercise equipment appears to be treadmills. This is probably because walking and jogging are second nature for humans while being the most basic of exercise. It can also be for the enjoyment of all in the family. Another ubiquitous exercise equipment is the stationary exercise bicycle. Both are great for lower body workouts but for a more complete workout, try to go for crosstrainers.

It is understandable that the perils of sedentary lifestyle are frequent subjects being played up all over the world. This is solely because they hold much truth and the solution is very much within our control. It’s your call!