Exercise and the prevention of atherosclerosis
Background/ Explanation of the issue
Atherosclerosis is a disease characterised by hardening of the arteries in the body. This process often occurs as a result of ageing or lifestyle because over time the arteries become harder from the formation of plaques.  Atherosclerosis is a condition that is associated with metabolic syndrome  Atherosclerosis has an inflammatory effect and is also associated with thickening of the arterial wall surface due to plaque deposits  Oxidative processes are important along with inflammation in the lead up to rupturing of plaque and thrombosis which can occur in this disease  Oxidised low-density lipoprotein is involved in the initiation of plaque build up. Oxidised LDL assists T cells so they can adhere to vessel endothelium, in this way it contributes to development of atherosclerosis  Platelets, leukocytes, endothelial cells, and the reactions between them are the characteristic elements of atherosclerosis  T lymphocytes are the cells that have a major involvement in the development of atherosclerosis  .T regulatory cells have the ability to inhibit atherosclerosis by controlling production of T cells . Cardiovascular disease frequently occurs as a result of atherosclerosis . It has been found that the risk of developing cardiovascular disease is lowered if the individual’s diet has a high fruit and vegetable content. However, vitamin supplements do not seem to have an effect in minimising cardiovascular disease  Risk of developing atherosclerosis is measured by carotid artery intimal medial thickness, and it’s progression can be linked with cardiovascular issues 
Importance of Exercise
Studies have shown that physical activity can improve endothelial function when atherosclerosis is present. Exercise is also beneficial for individuals with risk factors for coronary artery disease  Regular exercise has been found to be helpful in managing and preventing atherosclerosis and is a recommendation for individuals affected by coronary artery disease 
Benefits of resistance training on the prevention of atherosclerosis
Benefits of resistance training on the prevention of atherosclerosis: Atherosclerosis is associated with an individual’s lifestyle and therefore this can be modified to help in the prevention of the disease. For example it has been linked with:
- Elevation in systolic blood pressure 
- General physical inactivity 
There are several studies which have shown the benefit of resistance exercise on these factors. Progressive resistance training has been associated with decreases in:
- low density lipoprotein cholesterol 
- triglycerides in adults 
- both systolic and diastolic blood pressure 
Recommendations for resistance training
A doctor should be consulted before the onset of any vigorous exercise for individuals with any cardiovascular problems  Exercise should be stopped and medical advice immediately sought if the individual experiences, recurring chest pain, unusual shortness of breath, dizziness or heart rhythm abnormalities  The resistance training recommendations for individuals with cardiovascular disease include :
 Exercise for persons with cardiovascular disease
 Hardening of the arteries
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