Don’t Be A Statistic
Despite advances in modern medicine, heart disease is still the leading cause of death according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. It’s estimated that nearly half of these deaths were preventable. The World Health Organization goes so far as to claim that 80% of premature heart attacks and strokes are preventable…but we humans are such self-destructive and self-centred individuals.
Identify The Risk Factors
If YOU would like to extend your life for days, weeks, months or even years to spend more time with your family, to do the things you want to do or should have done, what steps should you take? Go to the experts, the CDC, the American Heart Association, and the World Health Organization and make a list of the major contributing factors, identify those risks in your life and correct those that can be controlled. Eliminate or reduce your risks and increase your odds.
5 Controllable Risk Factors
- High Cholesterol
- High Blood Pressure
Fifty percent of the World and eighty percent of Americans have at least one of these risk factors.
Manage Your Risk Factors
This short list of risk factors can easily be controlled through a healthy lifestyle involving:
- Eating a healthy diet. A balanced, high-fiber diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fatty acids. Limit your sugar, salt and saturated fats and avoid processed, prepackaged fast foods. Burgers, fries and pizzas may taste good today, but they will not help you live longer later down the road. Think about what you eat and make healthier choices.
- Exercise more. Increasing your activity level can prevent obesity, lower your blood pressure, and help you avoid type 2 diabetes. Strive for 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise at least 3-5 times each week. Walking, running, swimming or any other exercise that gets your heart pumping and blood flowing. Your heart is a muscle and will get stronger and more efficient as you exercise. Physical fitness reduces your risk of heart problems, helps you lose and maintain a healthy body weight, helps stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels, and reduces blood pressure.
- Stop smoking. Smoking kills. Smoking DOUBLES your risk of heart disease and stroke, and you were probably already in the 50% group. Quitting is difficult, it will be one of the hardest things you have ever done, but you will experience immediate benefits. According to the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative, your health improves in as little as 12 hours when the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops back to normal. After 5 years smoke-free, your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker. After 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease equals that of a non smoker’s.
- If you quit smoking at age 30, you’ll gain almost 10 ADDITIONAL years of life expectancy. If you quit at age 40, you’ll gain 9 ADDITIONAL years of life expectancy.
- Manage stress. Stress, depression and psychosocial factors contribute to 30% of heart attacks. Exercise will help reduce stress, as will yoga or meditation. Learn to avoid, alleviate, or manage your stress to avoid stress eating, emotional eating or an actual heart attack or coronary. Stress management lowers your risk and increases your odds of survival.