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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Do You Love Your Heart – Lifestyle Factors You Control (Part 3 in a 4 Part Series)

You control many factors in your lifestyle. It is arguably the biggest set of ammunition in your arsenal against heart disease. If you arm yourself with the proper personal combination that fits your life, you can reduce your risk significantly.
 
Our diet is the biggest factor we control. We have let ourselves fall into a diet of convenience where we eat a preponderance of processed, pre-packaged foods that tend to be high in meats, salt, deep fried and have added sugar that our bodies simply don’t need. Fast food is a staple for many of us in our fast paced, crazy lives. Diets low in the above items as well as high in fruits, vegetables, nuts and dairy lessen your risk for heart disease. Remember, your heart is pumping blood that is full of whatever your digestive system has gathered. Garbage in = garbage out. For more information on proper nutrition, stay tuned for a series about Proper Nutrition in future blogs.

Salt intake accounts for a 23% higher risk of stroke and 17% risk of heart disease compared to those who have a diet low in sodium. Make it a habit to read the labels on items you purchase for sodium content to be aware of how much is in the foods you eat. You can use Mrs Dash products and several others to add flavor instead of salt to your food.

A lack of exercise leads to increasing risk factors for heart disease. Evidence suggests that people who are sedentary (meaning they don’t exercise regularly) have a much higher risk (almost 50 times higher) than for someone who exercises regularly. 250 calories per day burned (25 minutes jogging or 45 minutes fast paced walking) provides the best protection.

Additional weight is the next risk factor. Depending on age and other factors, weight plays a part in heart disease. Information varies but can be found online as to height versus weight ratios and what is considered moderately overweight to obese. Those who are moderately overweight can have up to a 32% increased risk for heart disease versus those who are obese coming in at an over 80% increased risk. Getting to a healthy weight also helps reduce the risk associated with diabetes which is an illness that increases your risk for heart disease exponentially.

It is no secret that tobacco and alcohol are health risks. Tobacco and alcohol both have their own sets of health issues that are independent of heart conditions, however when added into the mixture they increase the risk for heart disease. Those who smoke have twice the risk of suffering cardiac death and stroke compared to those who do not smoke. 2 or more drinks a day leads to increased blood pressure and adds toxic effects which further weaken the heart.

Stress is something we all have in our daily lives. Stress adds a greater workload for our body including our heart.

It’s time to arm yourself with the best mixture for your lifestyle. Your ammunition should consist of:

·    Proper nutrition with dietary changes (adding vitamins and   supplements and fiber can help with this)

·    Reduce your sodium intake

·    Begin exercising even if it’s walking 10-15 minutes a day to   help with weight loss

·     Stop smoking and limit alcohol intake

·     Reduce stress as much as you can in your day


Find the best mixture for your life and start today as it’s never too late to begin lessening your risk.

I hope you’ve found this information helpful. I’ve googled much of this information to verify it but feel free to do more research. I’m a firm believer in the more you know and the more opposing opinions you get, the more informed you are for yourself.
 


Offering Heart and Weight Loss solutions for the busy lifestyle. Contact me today to schedule your Free consultation and Learn 6 Controllable Factors for Heart Health.

Kathie Hitt

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor should this information take the place of regularly scheduled wellness visits with your physician. Self diagnosis is not the way to responsibly take care of your health. Before changing what you do, make sure to consult with your doctor as this blog and it’s education will not be held accountable for your own personal actions. This blog is meant for education only and to raise awareness of heart disease and the many factors related to it in hopes that increased education will help save more lives. Only through education do we grow stronger and more knowledgeable about life.