The Importance of a Heart Healthy Lifestyle

Natural Medical. Does it really make a difference to your heart? In today’s world there is a great deal of talk about eating heart healthy foods and living a lifestyle that promotes a healthy heart. Although this doesn’t tend to be problem for the older generation who understands the importance of keeping their hearts healthy, questions regarding the importance of the under 40s worrying about the health of their hearts tends to bring some controversy to the table. It raises the question about why someone in their 20s and 30s should have to concern themselves with something that will not affect them for ten or twenty years if at all. Heart Problems Are Not Just for Those Over 40 One misconception many people have is that they don’t really have to worry about the health of their hearts until they reach middle age. Unfortunately this misconception is what causes many people to neglect their heart’s health and increase the chances of a heart attack early in life. This is especially true if you are in the high risk category for heart disease such as having high cholesterol, a history of heart disease, or suffer from obesity. All of these factors tie into the health of your heart, and in order to prevent heart disease, you need to take care of your heart regardless of your age. Factors that Contribute to Heart Problems Many factors in our lives can cause early onset heart disease, but the most common factors are diet, lack of exercise, and weight. For those who are genetically prone to early onset heart disease, lifestyle is even more important. It’s important to make lifestyle changes in order to prevent heart disease no matter how old or young you are. However, you do not want to wait until you are a high risk candidate for heart disease because by then it may be too late to undo any damage you have already done to your heart. Let me address these issues briefly one at a time. Diet One of the major contributors to heart disease is diet food we eat. High fat foods cause high cholesterol which in turn blocks the arteries to the heart. Although this problem doesn’t usually cause problems until we are older, by then it is very difficult to change our eating habits. After you have eaten greasy, high fat foods for many years, the adjustment to healthier eating is more difficult. Lack of Exercise Leading a sedentary lifestyle is another cause of heart disease. Over the years there has been an increase in the number of reported cases of early onset heart disease, and cardiologists tie this into the sedentary lifestyle that many of us lead today. There is a need to increase the heart rate in order to stay healthy, and we cannot do this sitting in front of the television or the computer. Most of us won’t even walk to the corner store for a loaf of bread let alone perform any heart healthy exercises. Sadly for many, exercise is limited to pushing buttons on the remote control. Weight The problem of obesity in both North America and Europe is on the rise, and as a result heart disease is on the rise as well. Nutritionists believe the problem lies in the fast food industry with the problem beginning in childhood. With two income families a necessity today, fewer children are eating healthy meals at home. The sad part is that quick meals can be healthy meals if you choose carefully. The choices you make early in life will affect you later in life. Prevent obesity from the start by making healthy eating choices, and you have battled one of factors that will affect the health of your heart. by: Mary Watson

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