4 easy ways to help prevent heart disease
Prevent heart disease.
Now, more than ever.
Hey everyone! I’m back from my cruise, rested, and ready to share more tools to help you change your life! Aside from taking 3rd place in a belly smacking contest (yes, you read that right!), I spent a lot of time relaxing, spending time with family, and of course, one of my favorite things, people watching…
One of the things I unfortunately saw, were a lot scars from heart surgery….Coupled with stories I heard from people I talked with about their uncle/aunt/best friend/etc.. who had heart disease, and their helpless feeling that a heart attack can sneak up on them at any time, I’m compelled to share the following:
Heart problems are largely predictable-understand what causes them, and you’ve got a much higher chance to prevent heart disease.
Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of superstition based on odd-ball studies:
“The Monday and Tuesday after moving the clocks ahead one hour in March is associated with a 10 percent increase in the risk of having a heart attack,” Dr. Martin Young, Science Daily (2012).
A study from Tokyo Women’s University (2005), found that Mondays (in General) cause more heart attacks than any other days of the week .
Sex can kill you, according to another study done through Tufts Medical Center (2011).
So what should we do then, to prevent heart disease? boycott Mondays, daylight savings time, and become forever celibate?
OK, I think you see my sarcasm in the last question.
Yet, many people seriously get frightened and superstitious, and they make needless changes to their lives as a result. There are better ways to drastically help prevent heart disease, and I’ll share them in a minute. First, though, in order to understand how to indeed do so, you’ve got to understand the following:
1. Composed of almost entirely muscle fibers that contract and relax, your heart is a mucle. Just like your biceps or your gluteal muscles, your heart is a muscle.
2. Your heart functions as a pump. It recieves blood from the intakes coming into it (veins), and then pumps that blood out through arteries. It’s really that simple.
3. If you act the way your body was designed to function, this system will work efficiently, and you’ll naturally help prevent heart disease. Heart disease is not a normal thing. Unfortunately, due to our lifestyles, it has become extremely common. Being common, however, still doesn’t make it normal.
4. If you disobey the way your body was designed to function, this system will break down. This is extremely predictable. Based on industrialized-world lifestyles, heart disease will be a problem for a long time to come-count on it.
Here’s some simple tips that have a drastic effect on how the heart functions. To help you separate superstion from facts that actually help prevent heart disease, I’ll share the ones most important. (This assumes you either don’t smoke, or have quit–no brainer on that one).
1. Excercise regularly. A study found in 1995, that even 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity can lower your chance of heart attacks, and help prevent heart disease. Remember how your heart is a muscle? Just like any other one, if it doesn’t work, it gets weak through disuse. By regularly exercising helps keep it strong enough to do what it needs. Don’t have time for 30 minutes at one time? Other studies have shown that 10 minutes, broken into three times per day can have just as much benefit as one 30 minute session. Blast-training is one example of this that only takes 9 minutes to do, has wonderful effects on your heart, and has other hormonal benefits as well.
2. Cut sugar from your diet. Yes, I mean as much as possible, completely eliminate it. A study from the Journal of Circulation (2012) showed that men who drink sugary soft-drinks have a higher risk of getting a heart attack from those who don’t. How is this caused? Directly through raising blood pressure levels. When we eat sugar, our blood-pressure levels raise. When this happens, our heart must work harder to push the blood through our body, in turn putting more pressure on it. This extra pressure increases the likelyhood that the heart will fail, (have a heart attack). In addition, sugar has many other properties that cause swings in hormone levels, which cause us to eat more, thus increasing another LARGE factor for heart attacks, which is weight gain. This, of course, leads us to our next way to prevent heart disease:
3. Lose weight. If there is ANYTHING to get from this article, this is one of the biggest. Remember how your heart is a pump? Being overweight puts a drastic strain on it. Every day, every heart beat, every motion, the heart of an overweight person is required to work so much harder. Want lose weight quickly without pills, or gimmics? Click here.
4. Eliminate trans fatty acids from your diet. Notice I didn’t mention saturated fats here–many saturated fats are indeed healthy. Trans fats are largely man-made chemicals that have been altered to enhance taste. The problem though, is that trans fatty acids aren’t recognized by the human body. Instead of helping build hormones, cell membranes, and give us energy like healthy fats to, trans fats accumulate in the blood stream, and contribute to inflammation and atherosclerosis. Over time, our arteries clog causing the heart to work harder, and eventually wear out our heart (heart attack).
“But Dr. Mike-you’re a little behind the times–all my ‘goodies’ no longer have trans fats”
You’re actually referring to the laws that make food companies list how much trans fat is in their product, and their products frequently say “contains 0 grams trans fat”. Do you really think they help prevent heart disease?
Because of loopholes in the law food producers are still allowed to contain up to 0.5 grams of trans fatty acid per serving, while still calling it “Free of Trans Fat”. Might not sound like much. However, when you couple the fact that bags of chips rarely have only one serving (they’re usually two or more), along with the fact that the American Heart Association suggests eating no more than 2.0 grams of Trans fat per day, the problem most definitely exists. Continuing to eat foods with trans fats is one way to predict that you’re much more likely to have a heart attack. If you want to help prevent heart disease, put the packaged ‘goodies’ away.
So much helplessness exists regarding the ways to prevent heart disease. Heart problems not normal, and they’re largely an invention of our modern largely unhealthy lifestyles.
Hopfully, these simple ways to lose weight can dispell some myths, help you prevent heart disease, and allow you to feel comfortable working on a monday, taking part in daylight savings time, and eliminate the fear that you’ll be forever celibate.