Heart disease is a scary illness. A history of it means you may be at higher risk for a heart attack or heart failure. But I have some good news for you; lifestyle choices can turn health statistics upside down. It’s never too late to start taking care of yourself and lower your chances of heart disease. You can be the exception to your family history of heart disease; wouldn’t that make you feel on top on the world?
One way to prevent heart disease is to start young. Start by eating a healthy diet overflowing in lean meats, fruits and vegetables. Some dairy is all right because it has probiotics and other nutrients, but watch the sugars and the carbs. You want to stay away from the “middle” of the grocery store; just shop the perimeter. This way, you are more likely to get foods that don’t have additives or preservatives. You know exactly what’s going to be included in your food and your body is going to be well on its way to cleansing itself of any toxins.
Another way to prevent heart disease is to exercise. Try to vary between strength and cardio exercises. Strength exercises are anything that involve weights. These may be kettle ball exercises, the chest press, shoulder press or bicep curl. In addition, on weight machines you can do the tricep curl, the leg press or the calf raise. On the flip side, there are cardio exercises. Often this is where exercisers use a treadmill, a stationary bicycle or an elliptical. The goal is to work up to at least one and half hours of exercise per day, but take it at your own pace.
In addition, a life free of tobacco is an idealistic way to prevent heart disease. It may seem shocking, but nonsmokers whom have never smoked (but inhale secondhand smoke) are 30 percent more likely than smokers to develop heart disease. If you have taken up smoking, it’s vital you look into stopping. The tobacco tightens your blood vessels, which puts you at higher risk for a heart attack. It may also clog your heart’s arteries. This makes it difficult for blood to get to the rest of your body.
One of the most important preventative steps, however, is to know your family history. Even if you’re the healthiest person in the world, you want to know if your mother or father have heart disease. In fact, you want to know if their parents had heart disease. It’s the same for any other illness. If anyone else had it before you, then chances are great that you’ll encounter it. Learn from the past and prepare for the future.
Finally, have your blood pressure checked. Your blood pressure rises with each heart beat. It also falls as your heart relaxes during beats. While blood pressure always changes, a normal blood pressure level is 120/80. The 120 represents your actual heart beats, while the 80 represents the heart muscle resting between beats. High blood pressure is considered to be anything over 140, while dangerously high pressure is anything over 180. It’s not enough to only get this checked at the doctor. Buy a blood pressure machine at the pharmacy and check it regularly.
Heart disease is serious. It takes people we love years before we’re ready to say our good-byes. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Take these preventative measures and you can be well on your way to living a long and healthful life. You can make the most of your life without heart disease. It’s worth fighting for your life.
How to Have True Heart Health with Dr. John Bergman
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