The heart organ is built to last a lifetime but the heart lifetime depends on many factors. There are birth defects, and genetic diseases passed on through the family which puts us at risk for a shorter lifetime. However, even after saying that, we are not completely out of control. Some of these factors can be shoved to the back burner, or at least become less of a risk depending on the life we live and how we treat our heart during our lifetime.
Ways to improve your heart
Have you heard the new expression, “Sitting is the new smoking?” That sad fact is that we know the dangers of smoking; but, many of us still don’t realize that living a sedentary lifestyle is not good for our heart.
It is important to keep active. People who sit down all the time in front of the TV or computer are at risk for developing such heart diseases as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Even if you work at a desk you need to move. Get up and walk around on your breaks. If you are at home move, walk around on your breaks and whenever you can. Get in at least 1 half hour a day of some kind of exercise. Your heart will thank you for it.
Don’t ignore heart symptoms
Having heart disease is a scary thing for most people to hear and sometimes we jump to conclusions when we have pain in the heart area. But you can’t do the opposite and just ignore them.
Is that heartburn you have been experiencing really heartburn or is it a symptom of heart disease? Only your doctor will know for sure and you must consult him or her. Chances are it is heartburn; but, it is better to be safe than sorry as they say.
According to cardiologist Mark Urman, MD, that heartburn might actually be a heart attack.
The following symptoms might be symptoms of heart a heart attack.
Chest pain or discomfort
Unexplained shortness of breath
Discomfort in one or both arms, or in the back, shoulders, neck, or jaw
Don’t put off your check ups
Okay nobody likes going for checkups especially if we feel we are fine. No only is there the time taken out of our busy days but, for many Americans without health insurance, the cost factor might be the deciding factor in the end.
Make that appointment and put your health first. Tell the doctor all your symptoms such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. If you don’t have any symptoms make it a habit of at least getting a checkup every five years.
Watch your weight
It cannot be stressed enough how being overweight can cause heart disease. The worst kind of body fat is belly fat. This fat does not just show in your stomach but it adds fat around the organs. The more fat the more work the heart must do to perform properly.
It is important to lose weight to add extra years to your heart. Even a 5 to 10 percent drop in body fat will lessen your risk of heart disease.
Consult with your doctor or ask for a referral for a nutritionist to help you with a proper diet and counseling to support your losing weight.
You already know you need to stop smoking. We know all the excuses; but, isn’t time to actually try stopping? Don’t be discouraged if you tried before and you couldn’t stop. Never stop trying. You will be doing your heart a favor.
The statistics don’t lie. A person who smokes two packs of cigarettes a day has twice the risk for heart disease than a non-smoker.
“Many of the chemicals in cigarette smoke get into the bloodstream and damage the inner lining of the arteries,” says Lloyd-Jones. Bad cholesterol collects on the artery walls, boosting the risk of heart attack, he explains.
The fix: Quit. No matter how long you’ve smoked, quitting can help reverse damage to the heart and blood vessels, and can dramatically cut your risk of heart disease and heart attack.