Regular exercise has been associated with numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, when it comes to individuals with blocked arteries, exercise remains a cause for concern. When someone has blocked arteries (carotid artery stenosis), it means that their blood flow is restricted due to the buildup of plaque or fatty deposits, increasing the risk of stroke from exercising.
Generally, exercises are recommended for individuals to ensure healthy blood circulation, thus preventing heart problems. However, according to Physics of Fluids, exercises can increase heart rate, which could increase the risk of stroke in people with carotid artery stenosis. The study revealed that people with moderate blockage may experience stress in the blocked area, causing the stenosis to burst. If this blockage reaches the brain, they can experience an ischemic stroke. Nevertheless, exercise is beneficial for individuals without blockage or with mild blockage.
Here are some factors that make individuals with blocked arteries vulnerable to stroke:
It refers to the gradual buildup of plaque, cholesterol, or fat along the inner walls of the arteries, making them narrow. This reduces blood flow to the heart and brain, causing blood clots that result in a stroke.
High blood pressure puts extra strain on the arteries, making them more prone to damage and the development of atherosclerosis. Additionally, it can weaken blood vessel walls, making them more susceptible to rupture or the formation of blood clots, both of which can trigger a stroke.
Tobacco contains chemicals that can damage blood vessel walls and promote the formation of blood clots. In individuals with blocked arteries, smoking further encourages the narrowing of the arteries and accelerates the development of atherosclerosis, thus causing a stroke.
Elevated blood sugar levels can damage the inner lining of blood vessels, causing plaque, thus increasing stroke risks.
Lack of regular exercise and a diet high in saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium and low in fruits and vegetables can lead to weight gain and high blood pressure. These factors increase the likelihood of atherosclerosis and the occurrence of stroke subsequently.
While exercising with a blocked artery can be risky, it is important to understand the warning signs that may indicate a potential stroke, which include:
If you want to exercise with blocked arteries, you should consult your doctor because they will:
At North Atlanta Vascular Clinic, we have trained and skilled stroke specialists who can tailor plans for exercise with blocked arteries, minimizing the risk of injuries and health complications. Schedule an appointment today to get started on an effective and safe exercise regimen.
Content Source: Physics of Fluids