It’s no secret that working out brings multiple benefits to the human body, but the importance of exercise in preventing cardiovascular disease is enormous.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), reduction in physical activity or a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet have become the worst enemies of healthy living.  This situation is also reflected in the high costs of health care.

In January 2015, the WHO reported that in 2012 about 17.5 million people died of cardiovascular disease.  This represents 31% of all deaths by disease in the world.  Coronary heart disease caused 7.4 million deaths and 6.7 million deaths were caused by strokes.

The most frequent cause of cardiovascular disease is directly related to deposits of fat in the inner walls of blood vessels, especially the ones that supply blood to the heart and brain.

Exercise and a healthy diet is the key for preventing cardiovascular disease.  Diminishing risk factors should an important goal for patients to address with their physician.

Among the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease are smoking, unhealthy diets, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and excess in alcohol consumption.

A proper exercise plan provided by a qualified professional is not only safe but effective in preventing cardiovascular disease, especially for those patients who already have a history of heart disease.  Such an exercise plan should be performed consistently and realistic goals must be set in order to succeed.

What are the symptoms of cardiovascular disease?

The underlying cardiovascular disease usually does not show any symptoms until a heart attack or a stroke occurs.  This event is considered the first appearance of the disease.

A heart attack however has several symptoms:

  • Ache, pressure, or discomfort in the chest.
  • Pain or discomfort in the arms, left shoulder, lower jaw or back. *
  • Difficulties in breathing. *
  • Nausea and vomiting. *
  • Dizziness and fainting.
  • Perspiration, shivers and paleness.

* Difficulties in breathing, nausea and vomiting, jaw and back pain are more common in women.

The most frequent symptom of strokes is a sudden unilateral loss of strength and tone in the muscles of the arms, legs, or face.
Other important symptoms and signs of stroke are:

  • Mental disturbances like confusion and disorientation.
  • Visual disturbances in one or both eyes.
  • Dizziness, loss of balance or coordination that causes difficulties to walk.
  • Intense headache and migraine of unknown causes.
  • Weakness and loss of consciousness.

Experiencing any of these symptoms require immediate medical attention.

If you would like to learn more about cardiovascular disease treatments in Costa Rica or would like to speak with a cardiology specialist in Costa Rica, please fill out the “Help me Find a Doctor” form.  A participating medical specialist will contact you to discuss your case.