Heart disease is a disease of the heart that has several variations such as hypertension, congenital heart disease, heart infection, disorders of the heart valves and heart arrythmias. Heart disease doesnt develop all at once but comes on slowly and insidiously; with the patient seldom knowing that the disease is forming.
It is a fact that exercise, a healthy diet or low cholesterol can protect or prevent the various forms of heart disease. It is interesting to note; however, that not all types of heart disease are the result of unhealthy lifestyle habits. There are some variations of heart disease that are brought on by viruses. An example of this would be a baby born with a defect in a heart valve.
What most physicians recommend and suggest when talking about preventing heart disease is preventing coronary heart disease.
The facts state that more than 60 million Americans suffer from some form of heart disease. Sadly, statistics show that around 2600 people die each day from heart disease. Cancer comes in second as the nations largest killer.
But, these statistics need not frighten you because there are things you and I can do to prevent or lessen the chances of getting heart disease.
The major risk factors that lead to heart disease are high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, obesity, lack of physical activity, heredity, gender and age. Most of these major risk factors can be lessened such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, obesity, and inactivity. By being aware of how we can lessen or eliminate these factors by being vigilant and taking better care of our health, we can do a great deal to keep heart disease out of our lives.
There are also risk factors that contribute, or make it more likely that you will have heart disease such as stress, sex hormones, birth control pills and alcohol. These factors we do have some control over and with guidance from our physicians and practicing better health habits, we can keep these heart risk factors low.
And there are additional factors we can initiate to prevent heart disease. First of all if you smoke, stop. Next if you dont have an exercise program, begin one and start out smallsay 15-20 minutes and each week add on a few minutes more. Begin with walking or riding a stationary bike. You will feel healthier in a short time and your body will thank you.
Next, eat a diet that is healthy for your heart such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, more salads, nuts and whole grain breads and cereals. Stay away from saturated fats found in such food as muffins, pies, high-saturated meats and cheese. And, keep a healthy weight. Find out what your BMI isa figure that looks at your height in comparison to weight, and get regular health screeningsespecially for blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Don’t wait around and allow an unhealthy lifestyle lead to heart disease, for with preventative measures you can can prevent heart disease and add years to your life!