Are You At Risk?
Heart disease is a cold faced killer. It is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States. The good news is though, it is a killer that can be stopped. The catch however is that you are the only one who can stop this mass murderer. In honor of Heart Health Month, we are going to tell you exactly how you can take control of your heart health and protect yourself from such a grave fate.
Life is all about choices. Each and every one of us was blessed with free will, which means that we are free to make our very own choices in every matter of our personal lives. Sometimes we don’t always make the best choices though and sometimes those bad choices can have detrimental consequences. This is often the case with heart-healthy verses heart-harming choices.
The following questions will help you determine if you are at a heightened risk of a major life changing or potentially life ending cardiac event. These are the factors that affect your heart health and as you can see many of them involve choices.
- Do you engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day?
- Do you smoke?
- Are you regularly stressed out?
- Are you overweight?
- Do you eat a lot of high saturated fat foods, such as processed meat, marbled cuts of beef, packaged cookies and desserts?
- Do you eat a rainbow-colored assortment of fruits and vegetables every day?
- Do you have high blood pressure? If yes, is it managed?
- Do you have high cholesterol? If yes, is it managed?
- Do you have a family history of heart disease?
While there are certain factors that are out of your control, such as family history, there is quite a lot that is completely under your control. Let’s further examine one of the simplest heart health factors, physical activity.
Thirty minutes a day of physical activity doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go to a gym or even do it all at once. It can be as simple as taking a 30-minute bike ride around your neighborhood, two 15-minute walks with your dog, or three different 10-minute activities, such as a 10-minute morning yoga practice, a 10-minute post-lunch walk, and a 10-minute outside play session with your kids after work. The more you move the better you will feel physically and emotionally. And the endorphins that are released during physical activity also act as a natural stress buster, so you’re tackling two heart healthy factors at once. Make this easy change today.
Interesting fact: According to a Harvard Study, watching two hours of television a day increases your chances of developing heart disease by 15%.
Incorporating more movement into your daily life will result in a healthier, happier, and less stressful life, which in turn will greatly reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Next week, we will further examine the importance of diet and what heart healthy foods you should be eating every day.