The Human Heart : All You Should Know

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Before you buy any brand of heart rate monitor; here are the basic things you need to know about your heart health

Human Heart Structure And Function

Human heart

The heart is the major organ of circulation in the body systems.

The heart is a muscular organ about the size of a closed fist, weighs between about 10 to 12 ounces (280 to 340 grams) in men and 8 to 10 ounces (230 to 280 grams) in women, according to Henry Gray’s “Anatomy of the Human Body” that functions as the body’s circulatory pump.

It takes in deoxygenated blood through the veins and delivers it to the lungs for oxygenation before pumping it into the various arteries (which provide oxygen and nutrients to body tissues by transporting the blood throughout the body). The lungs provides a medium for exchange of carbondioxide with oxygen.

The heart is located in the thoracic cavity beside the lungs and behind the sternum.

Pericardium

The heart is present within a fluid-filled cavity known as the pericardial cavity. The pericardium forms the wall of the pericardial cavity, thus pericardium produces serous fluid that lubricates the heart and prevent friction between the heart and the surrounding organs.

The pericardium holds the heart in place and gives a hollow for the heart to expand and fill when its full.

The pericardium has two layers- the inner layer that covers the outside of the heart and the outer layer that forms the outer part of the pericardial cavity.

The Heart Wall

The heart wall has 3 layers: endocardium, myocardium and epicardium from inside out.

Endocardium lines the inside of the heart, its made up of simple squamous endothelial cells. The endocardium is very smooth and is responsible for keeping blood from sticking to the inside of the heart.

Myocardium is the middle layer of the heart it is muscular, made up of cardiac muscle tissue. Myocardial tissue makes up the majority o the thivkness and mass of the heart wall and its the part of the heart involved in pumping blood. If this tissue is distorted it could lead to myocardial infarction.

Epicardium is the outermost layer of the heart wall and its just another name for the inner layer of the pericardium therefore the epicardium is a thin serous layer that helps to lubricate and protect the outside of the heart.

The thickness of the heart varies at different regions of the heart. The ventricles haave a thick myocardium to pump blood that travel as far as the lungs and the entire body but the atria on the other hand have a very thin myocardium because they do not need to pump blood very far all they is just pump blood to a nearby ventricle.

Chambers Of The Heart.

Human heart has four chambers; left and right atria(upper chamber), left and right ventricles (lower chamber). The right atrium and right ventricle form the right half of the heart while the left atrium and left ventricle forms the left half of the heart, these two hearts are separated by a fibrous band called septum.

At the tip of the left ventricle is the lowest part of the heart known as the apex of the heart where apex beat occurs. Physicians use stethoscope to listen to this point on the heart to record individuals heart beat.

The arteries and veins are the pipes through which the blood flows.Blockage of these arteries can result into several heart disease.

Valves Of The Heart.

The main function of the heart is to pump blood to the lungs and to other parts of the body this blood tends to flow back but to prevent this backward flow of blood back into the heart, a system of unidirectional valves are present in the heart.

These valves can be divided into 2 groups: atrioventricular valves and semilunar valves.

Atrioventricular valves: The atrioventricular valves are located in the middle of the heart between the atria and the ventricles and they only allow blood to flow from the atria into the ventricles.

The atrioventricular valve on the left side of the heart is called the mitral valve or the biscupid valve while the one on the right side of the heart is called the triscupid valve.

Semilunar valves: The semilunar valves has a shape that looks like a crescent moon and they are located between the ventricles and the arteries that carry blood away from the heart.

On the left side of the heart, the semilunar valve there is the aortic valve while on the right side of the heart we have the semilunar valve called pulmonary valve. Semilunar valves are smaller than the atrioventricular valves.

Functions of the human heart

#1. Circulation of blood:

The heart circulates blood through two pathways: the pulmonary circuit and the systemic circuit.

In the pulmonary circuit, the heart pumps deoxygenated blood through the right ventricle of the heart via the pulmonary artery and travels to the lungs, then returns as oxygenated blood to the left atrium of the heart via the pulmonary vein.

In the systemic circuit, the heart pumps oxygenated blood through the left ventricle to the aorta, and from there enters the arteries and capillaries where it supplies the body’s tissues with oxygen.

Deoxygenated (used blood from tissues) blood returns through veins to the venae cavae, re-entering the heart’s right atrium for another circulatory process.

The heart consists of electrical cells also sometimes called peace maker cells which are responsible for the contraction of the heart by electrical activities thereby producing heart beats.

Obstruction in the activities of these cells can cause some heart diseases. There are five stages involved in the contraction of a healthy heart.

  1. The heart is relaxed at this stage its is known as early diastole.
  2. At this stage the atrial chamber contracts to push blood into the ventricles and its known as atrial systole.
  3. At this stage the ventricles starts contracting without a change in volume.
  4. Ventricles releases the blood into the arterial vessels and continues contracting while empty.
  5. The ventricles stops contracting and relax and the cycle is repeated several times.

These 5 stages are responsible for the heartbeat and also for the blood pumping activities of the heart.

Exercises For A Healthy Heart

You don’t need to be a hardcore athlete or sport guru to improve your heart health. To prevent heart diseases and to make ur heart stay healthy there are some exercises you can engage yourself with. I’ll just be talking about a few which are just the best.

Moderate exercise can significally reduce your risk of heart diseases, research has shown that people who don’t exercise are almost twice as likely to have heart diseases as people who are active and other illness and it can also improve your strength, endurance, and flexibility.

Experts advise doing some forms of aerobic exercise activities for at least 200 minutes or 100 minutes minutes of rigorous aerobic exercise activities per week.

Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise is any form of activity that increases your respiratory or heart rate, thereby challenging your heart to work harder and become stronger by making you breathe faster and more deeply thereby maximizing the amount of oxygen in your blood, making your heart beat faster thereby increasing blood flow to your muscular components and back to your lungs, making your capillaries widen to give more oxygen to your muscles.

As your heart becomes stronger you find out that you can perform physical activities longer and your heart rate will be lower (Your heart rate can be monitor by a device which would be discussed more in some of my other posts) meaning that your heart is more efficient at pumping blood for your entire body.

5 top rated physical exercises for your heart health

#1. Interval or circuit training

“Interval training” and “circuit training” are often used interchangeably but they are not the same they require different energy systems and promote different results, the 2 workouts used different exercises, both are efficient at boosting your fitness benefits

Circuit training is a resistance training workout, your choice about 9 to 12 exercises and run through them for a predetermined period, for example ; Biceps curl, triceps extension, abdominal crunch, chest press, squat, lat pulldown for 45 seconds to 1 minutes each then you repeat the circuit (cycle) for the duration of your workout.

Interval training on the other hand is an aerobic based workout in which you choose an aerobic exercise and add intervals of increased speed or resistance for example; during a brisk walk add a 1 to 3 minutes Sprint then return to your brisk walking for an equal amount of time

 

#2. Brisk walking

 

Locomotion is one of the primary characteristics of living thing hunan body was design to walk. Whether you walk on the road or rack up miles on treadmill, brisk walking is a natural effective way of improving your fitness wear comfortable supporting shoes and get moving make yourself walk at a fast pace to achieve a good intensity level to make it easier you can strap on your music player or mp3 player and enjoy your brisk walking

 

#3. Swimming

 

The pool can be a place to gesticulate or do a lot of jamboree but the water can also be full of body fitness facilities, swimming laps or participating in water fitness classes will raise your heart rate and improve your heart health the water can increase your muscular strength and tone by providing multidirectional resistance. Swimming is a safe alternative if you have joint problem that walking or running can aggravate.

#4. Cycling

 

Cycling is another type of cardiovascular exercise that is easy on the joint. Cycling is easy in that you can do solo in the gym, in a spin class, or outside on the road or trails you can as well join a cycling club.

But I advice that before you start a new exercise plan, talk to your doctor to make sure the physical activities you want to engage in are appropriate for your age range, health and fitness condition.

 

#5. Running

 

This sound as a normal exercise one would naturally do sometimes. When you are running, you are moving fast enough to raise your heart rate and breathe harder and faster. Running will not only prevent heart disease but can also help prevent obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, some cancers and a good number of other unfavourable conditions.

Most of these exercises can be done solo in your house, at the gym or you can join a group or classes for these exercises.

While performing these exercises, it is very necessary to strap on your heart rate monitor so that ur can monitor your aerobic activity well.

Heart Diseases And Causes.

The heart, some say is the most important organ in the body while some have a dispute concerning this saying its the brain. Not considering this fact, nevertheless if these organ are not well taken care of they can develop some abnormalities. For heart abnormalities or diseases I’ll categorize them into six categories.

  • -Ischemic Heart Diseases     
  •  -Hypertensive Heart Diseases
  • -Rheumatic Heart Diseases                 
  • – Cerebrovascular Heart Diseases
  • – Inflammatory Heart Diseases
  •  – Congenital Heart Diseases

Ischemic Heart Disease. (IHD)

Ischemic means reduced or restricted blood supply, therefore ischemic heart disease is a condition in which the flow of blood to the heart muscle is restricted mostly caused by narrowed heart arteries (artherosclerosis), the arteries mostly involved are the coronary arteries because the coronary artery alone supplies blood to the heart muscles, so therefore blockage in the artery(ies) reduce the supply of blood to the heart mucles.

This condition is also referred to as Cardiac ischemia, or Coronary artery disease or coronary heart disease.

Ischemic heart disease is mostly caused by atherosclerosis which means accumulation of fats (cholesterol) present even when the artery lumen looks normal by angiography.

Ischemia most times causes chest pain known as angina pectoris which can even lead to heart attack.

Causes include: high blood pressure, smoking, obesity,  lack of exercises, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, excessive alcohol

Symptoms include: Chest pain, heart failure (in chronic ischemia), shortness of breadth, discomfort in the shoulder, arm, leg.

Prevention And Treatment: eating healthy diet, maintaining healthy weight, regular exercise, avoid smoking, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, or high blood pressure should be treated early enough and regularly, medications which includes antiplatelets, aspirin, nitroglycerin and some others may be recommended.

Rheumatic Heart Diseases (RHD)

You must be familiar with the word rheumatism, as friendly as the word sounds so deadly it is. Rheumatic Heart disease occur as a result of occurrence or several occurrence of rheumatic fever. RHD could be short term (acute) or long term (chronic) heart disorder.

Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease that occurs in many tissues of the body, especially tissues of the heart, brain, joint or skin. Its mostly caused by group of bacteria called A streptococcus. Treating one’s throat with antibiotics may eventually prevent rheumatic fever.

It is most commonly acquired by children.It usually occurs in children between age 5 and 15, and about 65% with this fever develop heart disease subsequently.

Every part of the heart may be damaged including the 3 walls of the he at t and the outer sac (pericardium), even the valves may be damaged by inflammation caused by rheumatic fever be it acute or chronic.

A common disorder caused by both acute and chronic rheumatism is heart valve damage which is also the most common form of rheumatic heart diseases.

When those valves are damaged it can either be stretched or scarred. A stretched valve doesn’t close properly and therefore allows the backflow of blood while a scarred valve does not open properly therefore blocks or restrict the flow of blood which may lead to the hinderance to the flow of blood to the heart and the valves will be unable to function adequately which may require a heart surgery.

Untreated RHD will lead to a heart failure which leads to arrhythmias (Irregular heart beat), stroke, complication of pregnancy in females and endocarditis (inflammation of the endocardium). Subsequently, these conditions will lead to: reduction in the quality of life, premature death in children and young adult and most times varieties of disabilities

Heart surgery may control most of these problems and prolong life but cannot cure a chronic RHD. Several occurrence of rheumatic fever might have taken place for valve damage or symptoms of RHD to become noticeable.

The symptoms of RHD include: excessive fatigue, heart palpitations, chest pain, swelling of some parts of the body like ankle, legs, face

Treatment:  Taking daily antibiotics to minimize the occurrence of rheumatic fever, If there is leakage in the valve then heart surgery is required to repair the leakage, If the damage on the valve is severe, then the valve can be replaced by an artificial valve through surgery.

Hypertensive Heart Diseases (HHD)

Hypertensive Heart Diseases (HHD) refers to heart problems or disorders caused by high blood pressure. This most times leads to the thickening of the heart muscles, coronary arteries, and other conditions. This will just lead me to talk about few of the conditions caused by high blood pressure

Narrowed Arteries : The artery that supplies the heart muscle is known as the coronary artery. High blood pressure can cause this vessel to become narrow, when thus happens, the blood flow can be slowed down or even stopped. This condition is known as coronary heart/artery disease (CHD/CAD).

Thickened and Enlarged Heart : When blood pressure is high it is difficult for the heart to pump blood, this makess the heart muscle to thicken and grow. It usually occur in the left ventricle, this condition is also known as left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). CHD can cause LVH and vice versa.

Both CHD and LVH can lead to heart failure, heart attack,  arrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, sudden cardiac arrest, stroke and sudden death.

Symptoms include: weight gain, fatigue, nausea, irregular palpitations, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, enlarged heart (megalocardia), orthopnea, swelling of foot and ankle.

Prevention And Treatment: Monitoring and preventing your blood pressure too high, Monitoring  and preventing your heart rate from getting too high, Get adequate and timely sleep and exercise regularly, Eat healthy diet and monitor stress level, Drug may be needed to control hypertension, Check blood pressure and heart rate regularly to keep it under control. Control weight, diabetes and high cholesterol.

Cerebrovascular Heart Diseases

These are conditions that affect the blood vessels thereby causing either limited or no flow of blood to the affected arrears of the heart.

Cerebrovascular disease us caused mainly by atherosclerosis of the vessels that flows to the brain which can eventually lead to stroke, mental retardation and transient ischemic attacks (brief blockage that disrupt the flow of blood in the brain temporarily and subsequently cause sudden change in the brain function)

Interruption to the blood supply of the brain will definitely cause shock and stroke. When the brain is short of blood and oxygen it causes problems associated with speech and vision, weakness and paralysis. This may manifest as temporary numbness or weakness on one side of the body, severe headache, difficulty in speaking, double vision.

Symptoms include: dizziness, nausea and vomiting, headache, unconsciousness and blackout, loss of vision, loss of balance, speech problem, pressure within the head, numbness weakness or paralysis of the limb or one side of face

Causes include:  high blood pressure, smoking, high blood cholesterol, lack of exercise, poor diet, stress, alcohol abuse

Treatment: Blood platelets inhibitors such as aspirin, dipyridamole, ticlopidine, clopidogrel and sulfinpyrazone among others are effective in reducing the risk of stroke.

Surgery: examples of surgery that can be performed in treating cardiovascular heart disease include

¡ Carotid Endarterectomy : this is the procedure in which the blockage in the artery is removed to improve or cause normal blood flow.

¡¡ Carotid Angloplasty : this is the process in which a balloon tipped catheter is inserted into the artery and the balloon is inflated against the plague so as to flatten it and reopen the artery.

Inflammatory Heart Diseases

Inflammation of the heart could be a condition in which myocarditis (heart muscles), pericarditics (membrane sac that surrounds the heart), endocarditis (inner heart layerh are inflammed.

Inflammation of the heart is caused either by known infectious agents such as viruses, bacteria, toxic materials from environment, food or water or from unknown sources or origin. Some of the diseases that can be caused by inflammation of the heart include:

Cardiomyopathy : disease pf the heart muscles, pathological state of the heart muscles. Some are genetic while some may just occur due to infections or other reasons. Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy is the most common type in which the heart is enlarged, others may include ischemic, loss of heart muscle, hypertrophic, dilated and lots more.

Pericardial disease : this is when the pericardial layer (outermost) of the heart is affected by conditions such as inflammation (pericarditis), stiffness, fluid accumulation.

Valvular heart disease: this occurs as a pathological condition on the valves of the heart for example valve narrowing (stenosis), leaking or improper closure of valves(prolapse) and lots more.

Symptoms include: chest pain, shortness of breath, edema, swelling of feet and ankles, fatigue, angina, pain in the heart muscle.

Treatments: use of antibiotics to reduce inflammation of heart muscles, in severe cases medications are necessary for controlling inflammation.

Congenital Heart Disease

This is a condition whereby an individual is born with malformations of the heart’s structures. This might be hereditary by genes inherited from parents or adverse effect to certain agents while in the womb. Congenital diseases mostly result to death. Examples include: – hole in the heart, abnormal valves, abnormal heart chambers, coarctation of the aorta and lots more.

Heart Rate And Blood Pressure

You would have observed that when I was talking about exercises I have been mentioning heart rate all over and over again. Even if you are not an athlete, knowledge about your heart rate can help you monitor your fitness level and it might even help you detect developing heart health problems.

Your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute caused by the contraction of the heart muscle.

Normal heart rate varies from person to person knowing yours can really help you monitor your heart health. As I said earlier the heart makes beats by the action of the electrical cells (pace maker) and activities of the valves of the heart. These beats make pulses around the body.

These pulses can be felt in some areas of the body, the best places to find your pulse are the: wrists, inside of your elbow, chest, side of your neck, top of your foot.

To get the most accurate reading, put your finger over your pulse and count the number of beats in 60 seconds but you can have a better performance and readings by making use of heart rate monitors. Your minimum heart rate is your resting heart rate in which the heart is pumping the lowest amount of blood you need because you’re not exercising.

If you are sitting or lying and you are at rest, you heart rate is normally between 60-100 beats per minute. I’ll advice you to check your resting heart rate after you’ve had a good night rest and before you leave your bed.

But a lower heart rate doesn’t necessarily signify a medical problem, its common for people who does a lot of physical activity or very athletic and this is because their heart is in a better condition and doesn’t need to work as hard to maintain a steady beat.

If your heart rate is above 100 bpm (trachycardia) go for treatment or if you are not a trained athlete and your resting heart rate is below 60 bpm (bradycardia) and also when the heart is beating an abnormal rythym (arrhythmias).

As your resting heart rate is between 60-100 , your maximum heart rate can also be determined by subtracting your age from 220, for example; for a 30 year old man then his maximum heart rate is 220-30=190bpm. You can as well calculate for your age range.

While performing a moderately intense exercise or rigorous physical exercise you can as well track your target heart rate.

During moderately intense exercises your heart rate is always about 50-70 percent of your maximum heart rate while the heart rate during rigorous physical activity is about 70-85 percent of yor maximum heart rate.

Therefore, for a 30 year old man, the target heart rate while doing moderate physical activity is 95-133 bpm while during rigorous physical activity is 133-162 bpm. You can as well calculate for your age range. There are few ways by which you can check your pulse.

You can either check it manually by reading your pulse or you can make use of heart rate monitors. To check your heart rate manually, check out your pulse.

Place your index finger and third finger on the side of your neck to feel your carotid artery, when you feel your pulse, count the number of beats in 20 seconds and then multiply that by 3 to calculate your heart beat in a minute.

Manually aside from the neck, you can also get your heart rate count at your wrist by placing 2 fingers between the bone and tendon over your radial artery, when you feel the pulse at the side of your wrist just follow the same calculation process as above.

To check your heart rate automatically by using heart rate monitor is quite simpler as this devices are user-friendly. Here’s some of the best heart rate monitors you can ever get.

I want you to understand that your heart rate can be influenced by several factors which includes:

  1. Illness: When the body is ill probably due to the immune system being compromised, changes in heart rate can occur.
  1. Emotion: During a heavy emotional stress, there is every tendency that the body responds with an increased heart rate. The same goes for fear and other adrenaline stimulating emotions. Because the release of the hormone adrenaline makes the heart pump faster.
  1. Exercise: Exercise is a physical stress, though different from emotional stress can cause heart rate to increase but this is a healthy response in the sens that the muscles demands more oxygen and requires the heart to circulate more.
  1. Medications: Illegal drugs and all kinds of behind the counter or self prescribed drugs will definately affect your heart rate. For example epinephrine and cocaine will increase your heart rate while beta blockers and valerian will slow it down.
  1. Body Temperature: A sudden increase in temperature may affect your heart rate by sending much blood to your skin to cool you or warm you up.
  1. Body Sugar Level: If glycogen level in your body is low one may suffer shock and fatigue. Therefore your heart rate will automatically increase to boost your energy level.
  1. Heart Disease: Heart diseases can affect your heart rate in several ways.
  1. Dehydration: When the body becomes dehydrated either from lack of fluids or exercise. The blood thickens and the heart will definately work harder to flush out waste from the blod clog in the blood stream
  1. Fitness and Activity level: You physical activity level really matters in influencing your heart rate. A trained athlete will definitely have a lesser heart rate than a regular moderate person.
  1. Body Size and Position: Fat people tend to have a higher heart rate than skinny people. Heart rate is increased when lying down than while sitting or standing.

What Are Heart Rate Monitors

Heart rate monitor

In the quest of you improving your daily workout, fitness or even heart health, a heart rate monitor device is an indispensable need.

A heart rate monitor gives you an accurate measurement of how your body is working. I wrote a comprehensive post on how to choose which heart rate monitor to buy.

This allows you to adjust how hard you exercise and achieve your fitness goal, it can also let you know if you should not train as you may need more recovery time.

All models of heart rate monitor will display a basic indication of your current heart rate in beats per minute.

More sophisticated heart rate monitors add simultaneous display of how hard you are working as a percentage of your maximum rate  or how long you have maintained your target zone.

This great feature allows you to target specific training zones, these are reffered to as: efficient or recovery zone (60%-70%), aerobic zone (70%-80%), anaerobic zone (80%-90%) of your maximum heart rate.

Each zone has a specific benefit and a heart rate monitor will help you stay within these zones an those benefits. Another great feature is the ability to download data directly to a PC for later analysis.

Heart rate monitor is one that monitors the rate of heart beat and in addition they can calculate the amount of calories you have burnt during any physical activity thereby making it a very valuable asset for those that want to lose weight.

They either come as watches you can wear on the wrist or they come with strap which you can put around your chest. There are wide varieties of heart rate monitors with different functionalities and features.

Chest strap heart rate monitors:

This kind of monitors are known to be the most accurate because they read your pulse directly from the chest close to where the beat is produced.

The strap provides support and the strap is linked to a display unit which could be embedded in a watch that displays the heart rate and calories burnt. It beeps when some limits are crossed e.g your target zone.

I will advise that for those of you that are keen on accuracy should buy a chest strap heart rate monitor. Chest strap heart rate monitors can be more sophisticated than just this simple features.

The drawback of these monitors is that its not comfortable enough but anyone who can sacrifice comfort for accuracy will definately have one. Read more about it here

Our Recommendations:

Polar Ft4 Heart Rate Monitor

 

Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor

 

Polar H7 Bluetooth Heart Rate Sensor And Fitness Tracker

 

 

 

Wrist pulse heart rate monitors:

This type are often reffered to as strapless heart rate monitor. This is a variety of sophisticated heart monitor ranging from just a simple watch with monitor to a monitor with heart touch sensor (touch free). Most of these monitors gives the rate of heart beat when a finger is placed on it.

The draw back of this type of monitor is that its not possible to obtain constant readings and they seldomly give an inaccurate results.Read more about it here

Our Recommendations:

Mio Alpha Heart Rate Monitor

 

Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band

 

Mio Link Heart Rate Monitor Wrist Band

 

Heart rate monitor are available in varieties of brands of which the best are Polar, Garmin, Wahoo, Mio, Nike amongst others. Most of the models from these brands have inbuilt watches, stopwatch, synchronization with gym equipment such as treadmills.

There are different varieties for different workout you practice. For instance, the running heart rate monitor gives the heart rate while doing the workouts.

The cycling heart rate monitor which is more sophisticated than the running heart rate monitor because it can display other details such as number of miles covered and speed of cycling.

They also have GPS to view google site map, some also have bluetooth  and wireless in other to integrate with with other standard devices.

Selection of heart rate monitor when purchasing can be based on personal interest such as long battery life, size and color, memory capacity or data transfer capabilities. But I will give you some points and features to consider when choosing which heart rate monitor to buy. I’ve made some selection of features which will provide you the best chances in improving your overall fitness.

Other Monitoring Features

The basic thing heart rate monitor does is to monitor heart rate but i prefer a monitor which heart other monitoring features such as tracking calories burnt, lap time, duration, distance, target zone alarm, personalized interfaces where one can specify gender, age, height, weight, BMI and other factors, some watches have GPS and hearttouch free sensor and foot-pod compatibility.

Battery Life And Battery Type

This is a very important factor to consider when choosing a heart rate monitor. If you choose a replaceable battery, you will enjoy a longer battery life but you will need to buy new batteries when it reaches its life limit. Rechargeable batteries have a shorter life but they come with chargers and are easy to charge. Most watches indicates whenever their battery is low.

Weight, Size And Face Of The Watch

This is also important, a light watch wouldn’t be a burden when working out and a larger face size is easier to read. So when choosing heart rate monitor go for one which is lght and has a large face

Waterproof, Backlight And Stopwatch

Most monitor watches are water proof up to at least 30 metres so you can wear them while swimming, some also comes with backlight and stopwatch features, some even come with time and date settings

Recording Features

Most heart rate monitor watches allow you to record your data for a long period of time which means you can view your data even at a latter date. Some have features like training summary after each workout, this is good for those who do interval or circuit training.

Please look for a watch that has at least 10-lap memory. Standard watches can allow you transfer your data to a computer or your phone via USB or wireless connection this is a feature of best heart rate monitors.

Manufacturer’s Help & Support

Heart rate monitors should come with manufacturers help and support tools which will make you get the most use of your watch. Kinds of this support include warranty, service center information, user’s manual, and maybe training videos and more.

The best heart rate monitors are the ones that work along and enhances your lifestyle. Well I hope my simple articles on this will be of a great deal of help to you when selecting which heart rate monitor you should buy.

Blood pressure and heart rate are closely related but are not the same. Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by circulating blood upon the walls of blood vessels.

This is the arterial pressure in the systemic circulation. Blood pressure is usually measured in someone’s upper arm. Its often expressed in terms of systolic (contraction) pressure over diastolic pressure (relaxation) and its measured in millimetres of mercury mmHg.

Normal resting blood pressure in an adult is approximately 120/80 mmHg. Blood pressure is typically recorded as two numbers.

The top number is the systolic pressure which measures the pressure when the heart beats while the bottom number is the diastolic pressure which measures the pressure when the heart rest between the heartbeats.

High blood pressure also known as hypertension is when your blood pressure is around 140/90 to 159/99. Low blood pressure also known as hypotension or shock is when your blood pressure is below 120/80.

According to a Harvard study, high blood pressure plays a major role in about 15% of deaths in the united states.

Once you have either a high blood pressure or low blood pressure it is advisable you consult your physician. But I want to recommend some ways you can control your blood pressure without medications.

 5 natural ways of controlling high blood pressure.

#1. Watch your weight:

How thin or obese a person is has a great effect on heart rate and blood pressure. An obese person  gives the heart much work to do due to the surface area to volume ratio o f the body so monitoring your weight is very important in lowering blood pressure.

Blood pressure will increase as weight increases. Weight loss is an effective procedure to reduce your blood pressure, losing just 10 pounds (4.5kg) can help reduce your blood pressure.

#2. Go for power walks- Exercise regularly

Power walks such as brisk walks will reduce your blood pressure by almost 8mmHg/6mmHg. Exercise makes the heart work hard to pump blood.

Regular physical activity, at least 30mins per day of the week can lower your blood pressure by about 5-10mmHg but note that consistency is the key because if you stop, your blood pressure will rise again. The best exercises for lowering your blood pressure includes walking, jogging, cycling, swimming.

#3. Healthy diet

A meal may be a balanced diet but not healthy enough for your heart rate and blood pressure. Eating a diet rich in fruits,vegetable,low,fat diary products such as egg-white, pottasium may lower your blood pressure up to about 14mmHg.

Reduce sodium content in your diet because sodium salt consumption invariably increase your blood pressure. Meals you can feed on to reduce your blood pressure include sweet potatoes, orange juice, bananas, kidney beans, peas,honeydew melon, prunes, raisins, tomatoes and lots more.

 

#4. Drink less alcohol

According to some researches, studies show that the less you drink alcohol the lower your blood pressure will drop. High level of alcohol is detrimental to your heart health but moderate alcohol is protective for the heart. If you must drink, drink moderately.

#5. Take supplements

Researchers have discovered that coenzyme Q10 reduced blood pressure by about 17mmHg/10mmHg.

Take a supplement of about 60mg-100mg for like 3 times a day to lower your blood pressure because the antioxidants in this supplements required for energy production dilates blood vessels thereby reduces blood pressure a great deal. This is some of our recommended supplements that can enhance your heart health.



I hope this is useful for you in reducing your blood pressure without medications.

HIV TEST: KNOW YOUR STATUS WITHOUT GOING TO THE HOSPITAL

With the latest technologies in medicine, you and I can know our HIV status with a simple test that can be taken in the privacy of our homes.
Nowadays, testing yourself for HIV means that you and other people can use oral fluid or blood-finger-pricks to discover their status in a private and convenient setting. Results are ready within 20 minutes or less.

Some tests only require a swab of saliva and your result is ready after 30 minutes.

This is important because of the stigma associated with the viral disease. Most people are often scared to take the test in laboratories or health centers where they can run into any one they know. Read More

Home Remedies for Firming Sagging Breasts

Every lady really wants to have perfectly shaped breasts throughout her life. However, this is not possible in most cases. Breast dropping is just a normal method that takes place with era where the breasts shed their flexibility and elasticity.

Although saggy breasts often begin occurring following a girl reaches 40, it may occur earlier. Apart from era, other factors that cause sagging breasts contain nursing, pregnancy, menopause, rapid weight gain or loss exercise, dietary deficiencies and sporting a poorly fitting bra.

Some diseases like respiratory situations or breast cancer like tuberculosis may also cause chests to buckle. Furthermore, extreme use of booze smoking and bubbly products may subscribe to the problem.

Breasts don’t have muscle. They are made-of fat tissues and dairy – they require proper care to retain them who is fit, and making glands.

A broad selection of lotions and products are available out there tone sagging breasts up and to tighten. Nevertheless, if you desire normal techniques, there are many home remedies that are easy and simple that one may attempt.

Home cures for sagging breasts

Listed below are the most effective 10 home-remedies to firm sagging breasts

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1. Exercise

Exercise must be incorporated by those with saggy breasts inside their everyday program. Workouts that goal breast tissues and pectoral muscles around the chest will help too much to add stiffness.

Some exercises that will effectively lift-up and brings and company breasts are– chest presses, supply lifts, round-about push-ups , and flyes.

Alongside these, you can find other orms of exercises as possible perform to agency your breasts. Check this movie for more information out.

Usually use a tight bra.
2. Snow Massage

Snow massage is also considered very helpful to restore stiffness in loose breasts. The cold temperature may cause the structure to deal, consequently generating the chests seem stronger and more raised.

Take 2 ice cubes and massage them in circular moves around every one of your breasts for 1 minute only.
Dry the chests with a smooth towel and immediately put on a suitable fitting bra.
Remain in a place for thirty minutes.
Try this at frequent times through the day.

Note: Do not expose your breasts to ice for more than 1 second atatime as numbness can be caused by it.
3. Olive Oil

Massaging your breasts with coconut oil is a superb strategy to firm sagging breasts. Olive oil is a wealthy source of antioxidants and fatty acids that avoid sagging breasts and can change the harm caused by free radicals. Plus, it’ll help increase feel and the complexion. Read More

The 10 Best Foods for Heart Health

heaet healtgh

Your heart is the most important muscle in your body. If it’s weak, you’re weak. There are a few things you can do to provide your heart with what it needs to be at its best. The first is to get plenty of exercise. Your heart is a muscle, it needs to be worked. Second, avoid toxins that damage your cardiovascular system — don’t smoke, avoid high fat foods, and limit (eliminate?) your refined sugar intake. Here are ten foods you can add to your diet to increase your intake of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and antioxidants necessary to maintain a healthy heart. And they’re delicious too.

1. Salmon

Not everyone consumes meat, but if you do, salmon is one you should consider. Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids top the list of reasons salmon is so good for your heart. Salmon offers the highest value of vitamin D of any fish. Vitamin D aids calcium digestion, supports immune function, has been linked to weight loss and management, and is needed for proper brain function, especially as we age. Low levels of vitamin D in adults have been associated with heart problems and premature death.

The omega-3 fatty acids as found in salmon have proven to improve lipid profiles, nitric oxide (NO) synthesis (NO is needed for various bodily processes), and antioxidant levels. Plus, salmon is an excellent source of protein.  Add some lemon for flavor and vitamin C.

2. Broccoli

Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables have been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.  A recent study showed broccoli and similar veggies lowered the risk of cardiac associated death more than other fruits and vegetables. Researchers have taken specific interest recently in the potential of a compound found in broccoli, indole-3-carbinol (I3C), for heart health. A study based on mouse models found I3C provided cardiac protection as it counteracted aspects of heart failure.

3. Asparagus

A ½ cup serving of asparagus is loaded with folate, vitamins A, C, and K and provides a full range of minerals like magnesium and potassium needed for proper muscle function. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids and is good source of protein. Researchers have also found the phenolic acids in asparagus significantly increase the effectiveness of detoxifying enzymes that facilitate the removal of drugs and other toxic compounds. This protects the health and structure of the cardiovascular system.

4. Chickpeas

A single cup of chickpeas offers a complete source of vitamins (spec. the B complex vitamins), minerals (zinc, iron, magnesium, selenium and potassium), amino acids, and omega-3 fatty acids. A study evaluating the impact of chickpeas on lipid levels showed lower levels of cholesterol after they became a standard feature of the diet.

5. Spinach

Spinach, often referred to as a superfood, provides potent phytochemicals, vitamins A, C and K, and calcium and magnesium. One serving of spinach will give you 20% of the daily recommended value of magnesium. This is important as the body needs magnesium for proper muscle function, to control blood sugar, to regulate blood pressure and create glutathione, the body’s super-antioxidant.

6. Almonds

Perhaps the most complete nut, almonds provide B-complex vitamins, vitamin E and high daily values of calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and potassium – all needed for proper muscle function, immune health and hormone balance. Almonds have also proven more effective at balancing cholesterol than eliminating dietary saturated fats, while providing necessary fatty acids for better overall cardiovascular health.

7. Olives

The heart healthy Mediterranean diet features both olives and olive oil. They possess antioxidant properties and supply omega-3 fatty acids and phenolic compounds. Olives (combined with the next food on the list) help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

8. Red Wine

Now, I’m not suggesting you begin to live off red wine, and in fact, many offerings are not worth consuming. But, there are a number of organic wineries that produce a great product for moments to appreciate. Red wine contains resveratrol, which has protective effects against most cardiovascular problems. Studies have isolated these beneficial effects to the polyphenols and their antioxidant properties. Again, the benefits only result when consumed in moderation. For a kid-friendly, or non-alcoholic source of resveratrol, give mulberries a try.

9. Avocado

Packed with nutrients and phytochemicals, avocados contain fatty acids that facilitate the digestion of the fat soluble vitamins within, or those consumed along with, the avocado. Preliminary studies have shown positive cardiovascular support from a diet that includes avocados.

10. Walnuts

The polyunsaturated fats as found in walnuts have been linked to a healthy heart. Recently their antioxidant levels have caught the attention of researchers. A 2012 study found walnuts possess a high oxygen radical absorbance capacity, indicating a powerful antioxidant capacity.

Do you have a favorite that I missed? Please leave a comment below and share it with us!

Supplements Corner: Remedy For High Blood Pressure

In getting natural remedies for high blood pressure, there are several options to consider ranging from routine related to diet, exercise to everyday lifestyle factors. In this post I will be showing you supplements that safely and naturally control high blood pressure and their mechanism of action.

 

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a threatening and devastating condition for adults and aging population. Research has shown that american adults  suffer from it at a ratio on 1/3. Once you are over 60 years of age, the ratio rises to 1/2.

There’s also a good chance you don’t know you have it. Approximately 30% of aging individuals remain unaware they suffer from hypertension. It is often called the “silent killer” for this reason.

Lowering high blood pressure

The best  your doctor might do to help you correct hypertension is tell you to lose weight, cut your salt intake, and follow a diet program like DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), do regular exercise and so on.

What Doctors Won't Tell You

Doctors won't tell you that while hypertension tends to rise in our culture as aging proceeds is not an inherent hereditary factor, leaving you with the wrong understanding that high blood pressure is an important factor of aging process.

  What You Should Know

You should know that with our understanding of relationship between diet and health, high blood pressure can be controlled without drugs. Many patients have tried what I am about to share with you and it really worked well for them.

I will be showing you supplements that will naturally control high blood pressure to the minimal level, even without you spending a ton of treasure.

#1. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a very important nutrient for cardiovascular development. It is also known as ubiquinone.It's the most highly rated supplements for maintaining your blood pressure level.

It participates in ATP production and it is a powerful antioxidant. It converts food into energy. CoQ10 is present in almost every cell of the body.

Results have proven that supplement coenzyme Q10 reduces blood pressure naturally.

Several clinical studies suggests that CoQ10 may lower blood pressure. But it may take about 4 to 12 weeks before you see any serious change. It is a supplement you can buy from amazon.com at a very affordable price

#2. Balance 3 is a renowned herbal medicine in china. It contains several herbs, the reason I think its called balance. Some of its elements include (all-heal flower, chrysanthemum flower, notoginseng root, honeysuckle flower, water fairy flower, shiitake mushrooms, and pagoda tree flower).

This supplement helps improve overall health but its major action in lowering blood pressure is by causing blood vessels to dilate, thereby increasing blood flow and lowering blood pressure.

It therefore rapidly, steadily and consistently lower blood pressure. Try it out.

#3. Omega-3 Fatty Acid is a triglyceride mostly found in fish oil, this could be oil but it does lower a rising blood pressure. Daily intake of about 1000mg - 3000mg of omega-3 fatty acid lowers systolic  blood pressure by about 2.1mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by about 1.6mmHg. You would say this dose of omega-3 fatty acid is too high but research has shown that very high dose of this supplement would cause a significantly low but relevant decrease in blood pressure.

#4. Grape seed contains numerous elements for health benefits including the ability to reduce high blood pressure. There is a special grape seed extract called MegaNutral Bp which help to relax smooth muscles in blood tissues thereby dilating blood vessels.

  • So if you want to give grape seed extract a try, for best results, look for products containing MegaNatural BP, and use as directed.

I don’t want to bug you with a bogus list of supplements and get you confused. The supplements I recommend has all been tested and trusted. But before I end this post let me tell you another mind blowing supplement for lowering high blood pressure.

Olive oil


  • Olive oil is well-known for its cardiovascular benefits. But olive leaves have also recently emerged as a highly touted boon to health. They contain a substance known as oleuropein, which has been demonstrated to boost the immune system and to also lower blood pressure naturally. Benolea is a special patented olive leaf extract that is standardized for oleuropein and has been clinically shown to inhibit the enzyme that causes blood vessels to constrict. That’s why I recommend looking for products that contain Benolea olive leaf extract, and use as directed.

I believe this post would be able to help someone out there suffering from high blood pressure find a lasting remedy to the threat. Leading a healthy life shouldn't be a tug of war but with real understanding of diet in relation to fitness one would live happily and with a good heart health.

35 FAQS About Heart Health: All You Should Know

Leading a healthy and fit live does not have to be a tug of war…One can just achieve this by applying some basic rules of healthy living and fitness rightly. The Human heart can be the most important organ in the body, monitoring our heart health should therefore be also important to us. I have made this post easy and comprehensive enough for a lay man to follow this routine and enjoy a healthy heart.

Have you seen this report about the number of people dying yearly due heart related disease? Physical inactivity, poor diet, overweight and obesity, are listed among risk factors.

20 Years from now, will the world be as healthy as it is right now? Will the world’s average life expectancy increase of decrease? larger percentage of Americans are suffering from weight disorder, and the number is increasing on yearly basis.

Some companies are making fortune selling weight loss products and other related supplements. Maybe that is not what we need? Read More

Guide To Buying The Best Heart Rate Monitor To Improve Your Bpm

Wearable technologies have become widely required in our daily workout, before buying a heart rate monitor here is a comprehensive guide on choosing which to buy. Thanks to the likes of Polar, Mio, Garmin, Wahoo and the likes, wearable technologies have gone viral.

There are varieties of heart rate monitor watches with features ranging from trivial to sophisticated, but for your own personal needs and preferences choose those that fits your demands.

There is a wide range of options, offering several levels of convinience and accuracy

So What is a heart rate monitor?

heart rate monitor

Heart rate monitor is a device that tracks your heart rate and records its data in beat per minute (bpm).  A heart rate monitor is a device that distinguishes between fitness trackers and basic step counters. Read More

Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor: A Review

Get the best experience of your training sessions with the Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor.Wear the soft strap around your chest during your activity sessions.

The strap is made from a comfortable soft fabric.The strap is adjustable to your body size to make it fit during activities.

This device can be used even in crowded places like the gym and road races, it won’t pick other signals aside yours.

You can remove the plastic heart-rate module and wash the soft strap as you wish.You will discover you don’t need to replace the strap cos it lasts.

The Garmin Premium Heart Rate Monitor transmit your heart rate through wireless to several compatible devices.

Once paired with a compatible device just once and it will automatically recognize it subsequently.

As you already know here on heartmonitorhq.com we will discuss some great features products and we will also not overlook some major setbacks of the products.

Garmin Premium heart rate monitor

Read More

Mio Alpha 2: The Ultimate Heart Rate Monitor

If you want to have the best experience of fitness track as a runner, you might just need the Mio Alpha 2 heart rate monitor. Mio creates EKG accurate heart rate monitor watches of which mio alpha 2 is a significant device.

It has some special features like a large easy-to-read screen and clock feature, unlike most other heart rate monitors, and a high accuracy for tracking your heart rate at any moment of your workout sessions.
The alpha 2 is one of the best heart rate monitor watches you would love to possess Read More

Polar Ft7: Best Tracker To Lose Weight

Heart rate monitors has become a widely used technology in tracking our heart health and general fitness. Are you looking for a lightweight band and easy to use watch that can help you monitor and keep track of your heart rate and fitness or even in the quest of you reducing your weight, the Polar Ft7 is just all you need.

It is comfortable and easy to use. One can easily use it at home or even take it to the gym.

Read More

Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitors

If you’re longing to get stronger and more accurately fit, just let your heart decide it this time, chest strap heart rate monitors might just be all you need.

Before the existence of heart rate monitors Fitness experts has been checking and measuring heart rates manually.

This manipulating the pulse on carotid artery of the neck or by reading the pulse of radial artery at the side of the neck.

An easy way to get accurately perfect result on your physical activity is by strapping on a good heart rate monitor.Once you get used to the routine of putting it on and working out with it on.  Chest strap monitors will provide the most accurate heart-rate results.

Chest strap heart rate monitors are the most accurate because it reads pulse directly from where the beat is produced not like the strapless counterpart which measures from the wrist or other parts of the body. Read More