Sinister 5: The Top 5 Risks Related to Heart Disease
By Jackie Ribaudo
In the United States today coronary artery disease, or (CAD), is the most prevalent type of heart disease. If it is not prevented or in some cases treated, CAD can eventually lead to the horrible fate of heart attacks or heart failure. Some other types of heart disease include, an Enlarged Heart (Cardiomegaly), Irregular Heart Rhythm, Heart Valve Disease, and many more. Why is it so important to pay attention and take care of that good ol’ heart of yours? Well statistics show that in 2008, 25% of deaths were related to heart disease, almost resulting to one in every four in the United States.
Fatty Heart Tissue
We hope you understand that this information is not being shared to scare you, but simply to become more aware of how important it is to pay attention to the health of your heart! So let’s talk about the top risks related to heart disease and how to prevent them. It is never too late to give your heart a healthy new start!
Risks to Pay Attention to…
- Smoking- Smoking cigarettes have been labeled the most preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. Smoking tobacco causes a buildup of fatty substances in the hearts arteries. It can also cause normal lining of the hearts arteries to deteriorate and narrow which does not allow blood or oxygen to flow normally to the heart, which leads to heart injury or heart attacks.
- Poor Diet and Physical Inactivity- Eating high in fat, sugary, and salt loaded foods can lead to a number of different issues that affect your heart and your entire body. Poor diet can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. When you establish these unhealthy eating habits, your weight begins to increase and the desire to exercise diminishes. All of these factors lead to heart disease.
- High Cholesterol- High Cholesterol causes the same affects to the heart as smoking. It causes the arteries to slim down and build up fat which minimizes the amount of blood flow to the heart. If you consume too much “bad cholesterol” it causes the arteries to clog, and eventually the heart cannot receive the oxygen and blood it needs to keep your body stable. Therefore, leading to serious heart injury or heart attacks.
- High Blood Pressure- High blood pressure occurs when one is under stress, or by the changes in exercise, sleeping, or medication. When your body’s blood pressure increases, your heart has to work harder to keep up. This ends up straining the heart and the blood vessels. The heart increases in size and the blood vessels harden, making it difficult for your heart to receive the oxygen and blood it needs to keep your body healthy and heart attack free.
How to Get My Heart back in Shape…
Your heart does everything it can to keep you alive and healthy, so what can we do to say “thank you”? How about these recommendations…
- Eating a healthy diet consisting of proteins (meat, fish, dairy), unsaturated fats, carbohydrates (bread and pasta), fruits, and vegetables. Make sure your options are low in saturated fats, salts, and sugars.
- Exercising is so important to keeping your heart healthy. There are many cardio exercises to explore and try, that eventually you will find the perfect one that fits your lifestyle! You can try anything from walking, to swimming, to bike riding. The sky is the limit.
- Reducing stress can do your heart some good. When stress is reduced, blood pressure is reduced. This allows your heart to work at its own pace and when you’re relaxed, your heart is relaxed!
- Quit Smoking! We know how hard it is, but every cigarette your smoke, the more strain and toxicity you’re putting in to your heart. Go to http://www.smokefree.gov/ to see how you can start this process today! Your heart says thank you.