9 Simple Steps for a Healthy Heart
Heart disease causes more than one in every four deaths in the United States, and each year over 631,000 people die from this condition, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Additionally, each year about 785,000 Americans have a first heart attack, while another 470,000 who have already had one or more, have another. When health care services, medications and lost productivity from heart disease are all added up, it’s estimated this disease will cost the United States over $316 billion — yes, billion — in 2010.
These numbers are truly staggering because heart disease is a condition that can be prevented most of the time by leading a healthy lifestyle.
1. Quit Smoking
Most experts believe that the safest and best way to quit smoking is cold turkey. Research shows that in the long run, smokers who quit cold turkey do better than those who used “helps” like nicotine gum, the patch, or quit-smoking drugs. These drugs, in particular, are a very bad idea, as some have life-threatening side effects.
2. Maintain a healthy weight
3. Exercise (not the same as daily movement done at work or around the house!)
Exercise not only lowers inflammation in your body, it is also one of the best weapons to fight visceral fat, which again is linked to heart disease.
4. Maintain a healthy Blood pressure
Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a very serious health concern that can cause heart disease and increase your risk of having a stroke. It is especially dangerous because hypertension often has no warning signs or symptoms, and it is extremely common.
Some of the main causes of hypertension include lifestyle factors that you have total control over, which are primarily related to your insulin levels (for example, eating a high-grain and high-sugar diet, and not exercising).
Stay tuned in for next week where we dive into the last 5 ways of optimizing heart function to keep us happy and health!