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Healthy Heart for all Ages

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women. More than 64 million people in America are affected by heart disease. Elderly people are more at risk, but no age is immune to this deadly killer. It is often a preventable disease.

Some heart disease is caused by birth defects or hereditary factors. But usually the term heart disease is used to describe coronary arterial disease (CAD). This is the buildup of plaque in the veins causing the veins to become clogged and blocked.

This is a condition that does not happen overnight. It is a gradual buildup in the veins that occur before they become dangerously blocked. Symptoms of CAD are shortness of breath, especially after exercise, and chest pain. Unfortunately, many people have no symptoms at all until a heart attack occurs.

Leading Cause of Heart Attacks

The statistics show that CAD is the leading cause of heart attacks. But no matter what your age, you can begin to improve your heart health. You do not have to accept the prospect of coronary heart disease. There are some risk factors that you cannot change such as family history, race, or age, but there are steps you can take to improve your future health.

High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage your coronary system, and it is vital to know if you have these conditions. Elevated cholesterol levels put you at risk for both heart disease and stroke. Having regular screenings is very important so that you can monitor levels when they begin to rise.

Healthy Habits for all Ages

A balanced diet is important for all age groups, and it is never too late to start. Teach your children good eating and health habits while they are young so they will learn to live that way and stay healthy all their lives. Your diet should be low in saturated fats, oils and cholesterol.

Eating foods that are high in fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals is a healthy heart diet. This diet includes fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat or non-fat dairy products, fish, and poultry. Limit your intake of fried and fast foods as well as refined sugars found in candy, cookies and cakes.

Encourage your children to be active, whether in sports or family and solo activities. Teach them to eat a balanced diet that is healthy and tasteful. It is important to achieve and maintain your ideal weight. You can control your weight by balancing the intake of calories with the energy used by your body. It is recommended that you engage in regular exercise to keep this balance. Exercise will aid in your circulation and help strengthen your heart.

Avoid Bad Habits

If you are a smoker, the best thing you can do for your heart is quit. You should never use any form of tobacco, whether it is smokeless or low-tar. Secondhand smoke is also harmful because of the chemicals in the tobacco. The nicotine in cigarettes makes your heart work harder by constricting blood vessels. When you stop smoking, you will begin to see positive changes and the effects will disappear. Your risk of heart disease will drop significantly.

Another habit to avoid is the consumption of alcohol. Too much alcohol will deplete your body of vitamins and nutrients. Young people should be taught the dangers of drinking alcohol so they will not damage their hearts and the rest of their body when they are young.

Improve Your Health Now

In leading a healthy lifestyle, you should try to reduce stress and anxiety, which can lead to high blood pressure and other conditions. Take time to relax with an activity you enjoy or find other ways to relieve strain and tension

Heart disease can be avoided because you have the power to change your risk factors. You can begin at any age to lead a healthy heart lifestyle. The main things are to eat right, exercise, and don't smoke or drink. This will improve your chances to avoid coronary heart disease and other conditions associated with it.

« Exercise for a Healthy Heart | Home | 5 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Coronary Heart Disease »

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