According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 610,000 people in the US die every year as a result of heart diseases. Coronary heart disease is the most common type, responsible for nearly half of the deaths attributed to heart conditions. Many more people in America have a first-time heart attack every year as well.
Of the 735,000 heart attacks that occur each year, the CDC estimates that 525,000 are first time heart attacks. These figures should scare you, but more than that, they should spur you into action, because there are things everybody can do to prevent themselves from becoming a part of those statistics. Making positive changes to the way we eat and live, even little changes, amount to big differences over time. Here are a couple of ways to make big strides toward preventing heart attacks.
No matter how you excuse them, the habits we have that we know are bad for us, really do have a direct impact on our health and heart condition. Smoking and drinking alcohol are tough on the body, and toughest on the heart. It’s tough to give up habits that are a big part of our lives, and sometimes social surroundings, but it is possible. Even more surprising for many who attempt it is that friends and family can be quite supportive and understanding of our efforts. Give it a try. Remember to not get discouraged if a first, second or even third attempt isn’t successful. Just by limiting alcohol and attempting to quit smoking you will be taking a big step toward a healthier life. Every cigarette not smoked, and every drink pushed aside, is that much less damage to the heart and other organs.
Getting Rid of Excess Weight
Those pounds you are carrying around are putting extra pressure on your heart as well. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight take work. Pay attention to what you eat and read nutrition labels, so you know what you are putting in your body.
Staying physically active is a great way to strengthen the heart, so make sure you get plenty of exercise every day. Instead of watching television, take a walk around the block. Take the stairs at work and walk across the parking lot at the store. Even when you don’t participate in regular exercise classes or regimens, you can be getting extra activity in all the time naturally in your day.
Read and learn about healthy habits. Learn the difference between LDL and HDL. Both are a part of your triglycerides, but LDL is bad for you, and HDL is good. Low density lipoprotein, known as LDL, builds up on the walls of your blood vessels making it harder for your heart to keep blood flowing. HDL stands for high density lipoprotein and actually fights the bad cholesterol in your system for you. Keeping fit and losing weight will give your heart a break and also fight diabetes, reduce stress levels.