The leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. According to the CDC over 600,000 people a year die from heart disease; yet, it is almost entirely preventable. We will die. But we don’t have to die of heart disease. The following are eight choices you control.
1. Don’t Smoke!!! If you are, you need to quit. Research smoking cessation programs, and start down the road to saving your heart.
2. Don’t forget to take your medicine!!! You might be thinking “what???” The best medicine for your heart is exercise and a healthy diet. Exercise 30 minutes each day. A walk counts, but you need to do a bit more. Include cardio on a treadmill, bike, elliptical, and / or rowing machine. Include some body weight strengthening lunges, squats, push-ups, and planks. What is a healthy diet? Keep it simple. Avoid refined and processed foods. Eat a diet mainly consisting of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, seeds, and whole grains. Check out Dr. Colin Campbell’s website at nutritionstudies.org. People who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or are overweight increase their risk for heart disease considerably; however, the cure-all medicine is exercise and a healthy diet.
3. Limit alcohol. Men who drink more than 2 drinks per day and women who drink more than 1 drink per day have an increased risk for heart disease. If you don’t drink on a daily basis but binge occasionally, you are at even a higher risk.
4. Manage your stress. Forgive and accept forgiveness. Find activities that you enjoy. Those who have strong family units, strong friendships, and hobbies limit their stress. Work hard but build breaks into your day, don’t skip meals, take vacation time, and take a nap.
Give it a try!