by: Dr. T.G. Day, MD
Have you ever thought about your heart’s health? Have you wondered if there was anything you could do to strengthen your heart and make it healthier? In this blog post, I will discuss things that you can do to help your heart to be healthier.
According to the CDC, 1 out of every 4 adults die of heart disease each year! More than 650,000 people die of heart disease annually in America! It is the leading cause of death for men and women. This is a very alarming statistic!
Now, there are certain risk factors that increase one’s chance of suffering from heart disease. Let’s discuss these risk factors. The main risk factors for heart disease are:
Contributing factors for Heart Disease are:
Interestingly, when we look at the main causes and contributing factors of heart disease, in most cases, these things can be prevented or controlled based on lifestyle and nutrition. There are things that can be done to prevent or reverse the risk and contributing factors for heart disease.
Let’s start with lifestyle changes. Since smoking and excessive alcohol use increase the risk of heart disease, by eliminating smoking, and not drinking alcohol excessively, your risk will thereby decrease.
Poor diet is a contributing factor for heart disease. So what is considered to be a poor diet? According to the American Heart Association, a diet that has a lot of high calorie foods and beverages, as well as large portions of saturated and unsaturated fats, and sodium. Therefore, the American Heart Association recommends a heart healthy diet which includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy products, skinless poultry and fish, nuts and legumes, limited sugary foods and beverages, sodium and fat, and the leanest cuts of red meat.
Physical inactivity increases the risk of heart disease, so just by being physically active, you can lower your risk of developing heart disease. The Exercise recommendations by the American Heart Association are, at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity). Thirty minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember. You will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments of 10 to 15 minutes per day.
If you have been diagnosed with Hypertension, Hypercholesterolemia, Diabetes, or Overweight/Obesity, there are still things you can do to improve these conditions and thereby decrease your risk of heart disease. Eating a Healthy Diet as discussed above, and exercising for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, eliminating smoking, and avoiding excessive use of alcohol will improve all of the above mentioned diagnoses. Also, avoiding prolonged states of emotional stress. Stress can also have negative affects on the heart by overworking it. Therefore, it is important to try to eliminate significant stress from your life.
Knowing the statistics of heart disease and death in American adults are so compelling that it is crucial to take a moment to self reflect and evaluate your physical state. If there are risk factors that you can eliminate by diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes, I encourage you to do so, because it will help you have a healthier heart and thereby decrease the alarming 1:4 death statistics from Heart disease.
If you would like additional information on nutrition and diet, or customized meal plans that lead to a healthy heart, please contact me.
Author: Dr. T.G. Day, MD is the CEO and Founder of Flourish Health Coaching, LLC. She is helping others achieve excellent health through wholistic health coaching. If you are in pursuit of excellent health, and becoming the healthiest and fittest version of yourself, contact Dr. T.G. Day, MD for a free health coaching consultation.
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