Adopting A Healthy Lifestyle
We cannot emphasize sufficiently, the importance of healthy living and good nutrition in preventing diseases. No-one needs to get a disease before sensing the need to modify a habit to ensure a long and happy life. Persons with a tendency to put on weight can change their diet and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disorder. Those with a sedentary lifestyle can develop regular exercise and tone up the entire body. Persons who lead a stressful life can practice relaxation techniques. Improving attitudes can improve one's health as negative attitudes have a corresponding effect on specific organs and systems of the body.
Factors That Increase Risk For Cardiovascular Diseases
There are individual factors that put people at increased risk for cardiovascular diseases and they include:
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
- Tobacco use
- Physical inactivity
- Poor nutrition
Along with regular exercise, a healthy diet is one of the most important things you can do to affect your overall health positively. Reducing fat in your diet can lower your risk for certain cancers and coronary heart disease. It is advised that we eat a balanced diet which will include lots of vegetables and fish. Cooking with olive oil is another plus. Our diet should ideally consist of 30% fat, 30% carbohydrates and 40% protein.
Improve Circulation with Exercise
Regular aerobic exercises such as walking, swimming or bicycling can help condition your heart and improve circulation. Research has shown that if persons who suffered heart attacks would engage in exercises two - three times a sweek for 30 - 40 minutes, that they can not only improve their exercise capacity but also their hearts will develop collaterals (smaller new arteries) that will improve circulation in the area of the heart attack. The good news is that your heart is capable of regrowing smaller arteries, which act like a natural bypass.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension is one of the major risk factors for coronary heart disease, for stroke and heart failure. Blood pressure is the amount of force exerted by the blood against the walls of the arteries. Blood pressure is considered high when it stays above 140/90 mmHg over a period of time. Do not be mistaken, we need to have some blood pressure in our bodies, so that blood can get to the body's organs and muscles.
It is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly as some persons do not feel sick when it is elevated. High blood pressure is sometimes known as the "silent killer". Regular check-ups can keep it under control. You, yourself can play a large part in keeping your blood pressure under control - through weight loss (if you are over weight), regular physical activity, less intake of alcohol, salt and sodium (sodium is an ingredient in salt that is found in many packaged foods, carbonated beverages, baking soda and some antacids). Low fat or non dairy products and vegetables can supply the body with plenty of potassium, magnesium, fiber and calcium.
Blood pressure tends to get higher as we age. Even though it may be normal at this time, it is a good idea to take preventitive measures to keep it at a good level as time goes on.
Overweight persons are much more likely to develop heart-related problems, even if they have no other risk factors. Excess body weight is linked with coronary heart disease, stroke and congestive heart failure. Being over-weight also contributes to high blood cholesterol and diabetes. Body shape as well as weight may affect heart health. "Apple-shaped" individuals with extra fat at the waistline may have a higher risk than "pear-shaped" persons with heavy hips and thighs also, if your waist is nearly as large as, or larger than the size of your hips, you may have a higher risk for coronary heart disease.
Pay Attention To Your Body
Again, I cannot over-emphasize the need for physical activity in your life. It does not take a lot of effort to become physically active. Please note that as little as 30 minutes of moderate activity every day of the week can help protect your heart's health. Let us start today to pay attention to our bodies - let us appreciate ourselves.