Strong muscles may protect women’s artery health

Credit: Sven Mieke / Unsplash

Researchers at the University of Jyväskylä have discovered that women with more muscle mass tend to have healthier arteries from their youth to middle age.

The study also found that hypertension (high blood pressure) is the most significant predictive factor for arterial stiffness, regardless of age.

Arterial stiffness can lead to cardiovascular diseases like coronary artery disease and cerebrovascular disease.

As we age, our arteries gradually become less elastic, which can increase our risk of heart disease and stroke.

However, there are other factors that can accelerate this process, like high blood pressure and obesity.

The researchers wanted to see if other factors, like aerobic fitness and muscle mass, could protect against age-induced arterial stiffness.

The study involved 146 women aged 16 to 58 years, and the researchers measured their body composition, blood pressure, and arterial stiffness.

They found that only higher muscle mass and lower blood pressure were associated with lower arterial stiffness, regardless of age.

Better aerobic fitness and lower body fat percentage were also linked to better arterial health, but age explained these associations.

The researchers suggest that women can maintain healthy arteries by focusing on their muscle mass and blood pressure.

Building muscle mass can be done through regular exercise, like weight lifting, and eating a healthy diet that includes enough protein.

Controlling blood pressure can be done through lifestyle changes, like regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and taking medication if prescribed by a doctor.

The study’s findings were published in Scientific Reports, and they could have important implications for women’s cardiovascular health.

By focusing on maintaining their muscle mass and controlling their blood pressure, women can protect their arterial health and reduce their risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

How to protect your artery health

Protecting artery health is an essential part of maintaining good cardiovascular health. Here are some tips for protecting your arteries:

Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help keep your arteries healthy and elastic. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise each week.

Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet can help prevent the buildup of plaque in your arteries. You should eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoid foods that are high in saturated and trans fats, salt, and added sugars.

Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can help keep your arteries healthy.

Quit smoking: Smoking can damage your arteries and increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your overall health.

Manage stress: Stress can contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease. Find ways to manage stress, like exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones.

Control your blood pressure and cholesterol: High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage your arteries over time. Work with your doctor to control these risk factors through lifestyle changes and/or medication.

Get enough sleep: Getting enough sleep is important for your overall health, including the health of your arteries. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

By following these tips, you can help protect your artery health and reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

If you care about wellness, please read studies about the cause of weak muscles in older people, and these vitamins could help reduce bone fracture risk.

For more information about wellness, please see recent studies that Krill oil could improve muscle health in older people, and intensive blood pressure control can lower risk of heart muscle damage.

The study was conducted by Eero A. Haapala et al and published in Scientific Reports.

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