Category Archives for "Heart Health"

Heart Attack and Stroke – Why Does Artery Health Matter?

11While some progress in the battle against heart attack and stroke has been made in recent years the numbers are still quite sobering with statistics supplied by the American Heart Association stating that coronary heart disease alone currently accounts for 1 of every 6 deaths in the United States.

Additionally it is estimated that every 34 seconds, 1 American has a coronary event, and approximately every 1 minute, an American will die of one.

That means if it takes you 5 minutes to read this article there will have been 5 deaths and just slightly less than 10 coronary events, some of which will have occurred without warning.

Hopefully you are not one of them!

One could make the argument that part of the reason why the number of heart attacks, strokes, and coronary events has not declined more dramatically is a general misunderstanding of the cause, and how and why that cause occurs.

Additionally, the reliance of cholesterol lowering statin drugs to save the day could be another contributing factor as recent research tells us statin medications tend to only produce statistically significant results for individuals in certain high risk categories.

Getting Down To Basics

Statistical research compiled by the AHA tells us that 75 percent of all heart attacks and 87 percent of stokes are classified as Ischemic which means they are caused by arterial blood clots which block blood flow formed either at the site of the blockage (Cerebral thrombosis) or elsewhere (Cerebral embolism).

As you can see the potentially serious health event we refer to as a heart attack or stroke is really more of an artery issue that produces an outcome.

Artery Health and Why It Matters

Put simply healthy plaque free arteries translates into low risk for heart attack or stroke while poor artery health translates into high risk for heart attack or stroke.

The National Library of Medicine lists the primary contributing factors for poor artery health as family history, diabetes, smoking, and high blood pressure with the bottom line cause being plaque deposit formation triggered by inflammation.

In theory if we were to keep the inner lining of our arteries healthy and plaque free we should be able to almost completely eliminate the risk for heart attack and stroke.

The point I am trying to make here is that by thinking about the cause, and trying to prevent it, rather than the outcome (heart attack or stroke) we all will be taking a step in right direction on the road to broad based cardiovascular health and prevention.

So if you accept the science that deterioration in artery health greatly increases the risk of heart attack and stroke then the next thing we need to find out is what can be done to protect our arteries from current dangers and possible reverse existing damage.

Natural Herbs and Remedies May Help

From a natural health perspective there are a number of herbs that seem to be able to promote artery health with garlic and hawthorn considered by most to be two of the best.

*Garlic can prevent and treat plaque buildup in the arteries. Clinical trials seem to indicate that consuming fresh garlic or taking garlic supplements can lower cholesterol levels, prevent blood clots and destroy plaque according to information published by the University of Maryland Medical Center.

*Additionally, The University of Maryland Medical Center tells us that taking the herb hawthorn in a wide range of dosages (up to 1800 mg per day) can help prevent plaque formation in arteries, lower high cholesterol and lower high blood pressure. Hawthorn may help regulate the heartbeat and dilate blood vessels.

*There is some suggestion that omega 3 supplements such as fish oil and krill oil may help overall cardiovascular health while vitamin B12 may protect us from dangerous amino acids known as homocysteins.

If you are concerned about artery health and haven’t heard of homocysteins it might be and area of cardiovascular research worth learning more about.

Rob D. Hawkins is an enthusiastic researcher and consumer advocate for natural health and natural living with over 12 years experience in the field.

These Are Possibly The 10 Worst Foods For Heart Health

11When it comes to keeping your heart healthy, there are certain foods that, depending on your level of heart health and risk levels for heart disease, you should either avoid, or eat in extreme moderation. Artery-clogging foods can be some of the worst food culprits and can have adverse effects on your overall heart health.

Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the Unites States alone. It includes a variety of conditions, including stroke, clogged arteries that may cause cardiac arrest or require bypass surgery, high cholesterol, heart attack, and premature death.

If the following ten foods are a part of your everyday diet, it could lead to some serious problems for your heart.

1.) Red Meat

Red meat is an animal protein that is high in saturated fat, and is not good for your heart when eaten in excess. It’s okay to have steak in moderation, but it should be something you treat yourself to a couple of times a week, and not a part of your daily meals.

Lean and/or extra-lean sirloins, round roasts and sirloin tips are some of your best once-in-a-while red meat choices for a healthier heart. It is also a good idea to trim the fat off your steak; this is the white marble portion of the steak or roast.

Broiling or cooking on an open flame are healthy cooking methods because they allow the fat to drip off the meat, as opposed to frying where the meat sits in its own fat in the pan.

2.) Processed Meat

Processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, sausage, and even deli meats are high in sodium, fat and may contain many preservatives. They often include added nitrates and nitrites, which have both been linked to causing certain heart problems. Processed meats also have more saturated fat and less protein than any self-prepared meats.

3.) Pizza

Doughy, cheese covered, pepperoni laced pizza pies contain about 2/3 of the maximum daily recommended saturated fat amount, and most pizza ingredients, especially take-out pizzas, are processed foods that are chock full of sodium.

It is much a healthier option to make your own pizza at home where you control the ingredients. Some options include, using, whole-wheat thin crust, fresh vegetables, lean chicken breast, fresh tomatoes or homemade tomato sauce and low-fat cheese.

These options greatly improve the health factor of pizza so you can still enjoy it without it threatening the health of your heart.

4.) Fettuccine Alfredo

Alfredo sauce itself is full of saturated fat and calories, since it is a combination of butter, heavy cream, and cheese, then there is the white pasta, and none of the ingredients provides any impressive nutrients.

Most people eat this dish at a restaurant, and here is what you get with Olive Garden’s Fettuccini Alfredo entrée, this is without chicken, which most people order:

1220 calories (675 from fat)

75 grams of total fat (115% daily value)

  • 47 of which grams are saturated fat (235% daily value)

1350 grams of sodium (56% daily value)

WOW! Look at those numbers! Can you never eat it again? No, of course, moderation is key, but if you love it, you can make a healthier version at home that you can enjoy more often.

Use whole grain pasta and make a homemade Alfredo sauce with either plain yogurt or low-fat milk and cheese, and add some fresh veggies to the mix for an added nutrition boost.

5.) Trans Fats

Trans fats are fatty acids that are created through the processes that make vegetable oils more solid (hydrogenated). They are cheap to create and they are often used in processed foods that are prepared and/or pre-packaged to have a longer shelf life. They can also be re-used for frying purposes.

Trans fats raise your bad LDL cholesterol levels and they lower your good HDL cholesterol levels. This is what puts your heart at risk. Read the labels and reduce trans fat intake, the American Heart Association recommends 1% or less of daily calorie intake from trans fats.

6.) Fried Foods

Many restaurants tend to reuse their frying oils many times over again, causing the fat to become more and more saturated. How you fry food makes a huge difference. Shortening is one of the worst, and a number of restaurants still fry with it.

Fried foods in general are never recommended for heart health; choose healthier cooking methods, like grilling with heart-healthy olive or canola oil.

7.) Soda

Heavy intake of refined sugar causes type 2 diabetes and obesity, both of which are huge risk factors for heart disease. Soda can spike your insulin levels by such a high amount that even if you drink only one can per a day, you can increase your risk of suffering a heart attack by up to 20%.

Choose green tea, ice tea, plain or flavored water or seltzer instead.

8.) Ramen Noodles

The cheap meal of ramen noodles has up to 1500 milligrams or more of sodium in each serving. What you save in dollars, you pay for in cholesterol levels and heart disease risks.

9.) Fast Foods

Many fast foods are full of trans fat; saturated fat, sodium and/or sugar, and the effects on your heart are almost immediate.

According to a 2012 study, after only one fast food meal, the dilation ability of your blood vessels drops by as much as 24%. A cheeseburger alone can have up to 1000 calories.

10.) Eggs Benedict

Eggs combined with the English muffin, butter and fat-filled Hollandaise sauce, not to mention the addition of Canadian bacon, delivers nearly 700 calories and about 35 grams of fat, not heart-healthy at all.

Russell (Rusty) Hart is the founder of the Health, Fitness & Sport Club, a website devoted to the promotion of health, fitness and wellness. The site encompasses a wide variety of health and fitness activities including general health matters, pilates, yoga, CrossFit, treadmill training, running, kettlebell, swimming, baseball, camping, hunting, HIIT, triathlons, extreme sports, equestrian and more. Should this subject matter be of interest you can visit the HF & S Club home site where you’ll find over 1,300 quality posts with new posts being published daily. To quickly access those that are of interest you can select any of 20 Categories broken down by over 260 Sub-Categories for easy access. You can also visit visit any of the HF & S Club’s four Stores all of which feature 1,000s of sports and health products at the very best prices. Access this website by going to http://www.healthfitnessandsport.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=J_Russell_Hart

The 25 Top Heart Healthy Foods Help Fight Heart Disease

11Heart disease is the #1 leading cause of death in the Unites States. Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing almost 380,000 people annually.

In the United States, a heart attack occurs every 34 seconds. Every 60 seconds, someone dies from a heart disease-related event. Heart disease kills 1 in 3 women, more than breast cancer and all forms of cancer combined.

71 million American adults, 33.5% of the population have high cholesterol; a major contributing risk factor for heart disease and only 1 out of every 3 adults have the condition under control.

The Role Of Diet In Heart Disease

Diet and exercise are the main ways to prevent heart disease, ensure long-term health, and prevent chronic disease. Heart healthy foods deliver power-packed phytonutrients that help to prevent and repair cellular damage and valuable macro and micronutrients to ensure optimal heart health.

Many foods also aid in preventing high cholesterol and clogging of heart arteries that can lead to the need for bypass surgery or premature death from heart attack.

Olive oil has been shown to reduce heart disease and is one of the main staples of the Mediterranean diet that a recent study showed to reduce heart disease by 30% in high-risk patients and by 9% in healthy individuals.

In addition, here are 25 more foods that are chock full of heart-healthy nutrients, which can aid in the protection of your cardiovascular system.

1. Salmon

According to the American Heart Association, omega-3 fatty acids are heart healthy fats that fall under the category of polyunsaturated fats. Regular intake of these healthy fats helps to lower the risk of heart arrhythmias that often result in sudden death, slow plaque buildup in the heart and lower triglyceride levels.

2. Flaxseed

Flaxseed provides omega-3 fatty acids, along with fiber and phytoestrogens that help to lower bad LDL cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol.

Ground flaxseed can be added to cereals, yogurt, homemade muffins, and to steamed vegetables for a nutty flavor.

3. Oatmeal

Many studies have confirmed that soluble dietary fiber intake greatly reduces the risk for developing heart disease. A ¼-cup serving of steel cut oats provides 15% of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommended daily allowance of fiber. Hot oatmeal and fresh berries is a treat for you and your heart.

4. Beans

Beans are very high in both soluble and insoluble fiber that helps control cholesterol, and they are a great source of lean protein as opposed to animal protein that is much higher in saturated fat that can clog heart arteries.

Beans also provide:

Magnesium

B-complex vitamins

Niacin

Folate

Omega-3 fatty acids

Calcium

5. Blueberries

Blueberries are high in fiber and low in sugar and offer essential carotenoids, the flavonoid, anthocyanin, Ellagic acid, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium.

6. Tofu

Tofu is a great alternative to animal protein that is high in saturated fat and provides, Niacin, folate, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

7. Red Wine and Grapes

The catechin and resveratrol flavonoids in red wine are believed to reduce risk for heart disease. Red grapes are rich in flavonoids so there is no need to start drinking just for heart health. Raw fresh garlic and garlic supplements are also great sources of catechin.

8. Tuna

Tuna is a fatty fish that is rich in heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It also provides folate and niacin.

9. Walnuts

Like almonds, walnuts offer essential nutrients for heart health, including heart-favorable mono and polyunsaturated fats, magnesium, folate, fiber and vitamin E.

10. Brown Rice

Brown rice is a healthy whole grain that is much better for heart health than white processed rice. It gives you, B-complex vitamins, niacin, magnesium, and fiber.

11. Soy Milk

Soymilk is fortified with heart healthy nutrients, including: isoflavones, niacin, folate, calcium, magnesium and phytoestrogen, potassium and B-complex vitamins

12. Almonds

Almonds are nutrition powerhouses that provide heart friendly mono and polyunsaturated fats, and:

Magnesium

Vitamin E

Phytosterols

Choose raw nuts without added salty or sugary toppings. Cacao dusted almonds are a great option to get an added boost of antioxidants from the chocolate. Pure almond butter is a super food that provides healthy fats and makes a great snack as a dip for fruit to satisfy the sweet tooth or on whole grain toast for breakfast.

13. Carrots

Carrots offer beta-carotene and fiber. They are also beneficial for vision health. They make a great sweet snack.

14. Spinach, Kale, And All Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are nature’s super foods and provide the best of what plant foods have to offer, including, lutein, B-complex vitamins, magnesium, potassium calcium, and fiber

Choose spinach instead of lettuce for nutrient-packed salads and sandwiches.

15. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are delicious and sweet, and while we often refer to them as vegetables, they are actually fruits.

For heart health, tomatoes offer lycopene, beta and alpha-carotene, lutein, vitamin C, folate, fiber and potassium.

Eat them in salads, as snacks, in smoothies, baked with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and in healthy sauces over whole grain pasta.

16. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a much better choice than white potatoes because they offer more nutrients, are lower on the Glycemic index, which makes them more effective for blood sugar control and offer these nutrients for heart health:

Beta-carotene

Vitamins A, C, and E

Fiber

17. Whole Grain Cereals

Whole grain cereals, like whole wheat and oat bran help to lower cholesterol.

18. Broccoli

Broccoli, like all green vegetables is low in calories, nutrient rich and can be eaten in abundance. Broccoli gives you many nutrients for heart health, including beta-carotene, vitamins C, E, A, B-6 and fiber.

Eat it steamed as a side dish, or chop fresh broccoli into soup. It also makes a great snack when dipped into nutrient rich hummus.

19. Oranges

Oranges are high in fiber and provide essential antioxidants to protect from free radicals. They also provide beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, flavonoids, and lots of vitamin C, folate, fiber, and potassium. Eat the whole fruit as juicing removes the pulp and eliminates the fiber.

20. Asparagus

Another awesome green vegetable that is low in calories and heart healthy offering essential nutrients, such as beta-carotene and lutein, B-complex vitamins, fiber and folate.

21. Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash is a vegetable rich in antioxidants, including, beta-carotene, lutein, B-complex and vitamin C. This tasty vegetable also provides folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and fiber.

22. Cantaloupe

This juicy sweet fruit is good for heart health due it’s rich content of antioxidants, including, alpha and beta-carotene, lutein, B-complex vitamins and vitamin C. It is also a high fiber fruit that can help prevent high cholesterol.

23. Papaya

Papaya is another sweet and delicious fruit that can help lower risks of heart disease by providing you with beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, vitamins E and C, lutein calcium, magnesium and potassium.

24. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate that is at least 60% cacao contains resveratrol and cocoa phenol flavonoids that are effective antioxidants in preventing heart disease.

25. Green Tea

Green tea has many health benefits, some of which are rooted in its content of catechin and flavanols that help to reduce heart disease risks. It also helps with weight loss, which naturally improves health and significantly lowers the risks for heart disease.

Bottom Line

Incorporating these 25 heart-healthy foods into your everyday diet can help to reduce your risk of developing heart conditions such as heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

Russell (Rusty) Hart is the founder of the Health, Fitness & Sport Club, a website devoted to the promotion of health, fitness and wellness. The site encompasses a wide variety of health and fitness activities including general health matters, pilates, yoga, CrossFit, treadmill training, running, kettlebell, swimming, baseball, camping, hunting, HIIT, triathlons, extreme sports, equestrian and more. Should this subject matter be of interest you can visit the HF & S Club home site where you’ll find over 1,300 quality posts with new posts being published daily. To quickly access those that are of interest you can select any of 20 Categories broken down by over 260 Sub-Categories for easy access. You can also visit visit any of the HF & S Club’s four Stores all of which feature 1,000s of sports and health products at the very best prices. Access this website by going to http://www.healthfitnessandsport.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=J_Russell_Hart

Heart Health And Disease Statistics For Women

There is a common misconception that only men are susceptible to the risk of heart disease, but they are all sadly mistaken. In fact it is also the #1 cause of death in women. In fact, since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease.

Women and Heart Disease Facts11

Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke, is the biggest killer of women worldwide. Heart disease and stroke kills 8.6 million women each year, which is 1/3 of all deaths worldwide.

In the United States, the disease is the number 1 killer of women, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease with a death approximately every one minute.

An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease and 90% of all women have at least one or more risk factors for developing it.

Even though there’s been an increase of awareness over the past 10 years or so, only 54% of women, that’s 1 in 5, actually realize that their #1 killer is disease of the heart.

For both white and African American women, it is the top cause of death in America, and for Hispanic women both cancer and heart disease cause nearly the same amount of deaths every year. For Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, or American Indian women in the U.S., disease of the heart is 2nd to cancer as the leading cause of death.

7.6% of black women, 5.8% of white women and 5.6% of Mexican American women currently suffer from coronary heart disease.

Nearly 64% of women who end up suddenly dying of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms at the time of their death. This proves that you can be at risk for heart disease even if you are not presently displaying any symptoms.

One of the contributing factors in the number of deaths is that the symptoms of heart disease can be different in women and men, and are often misunderstood.

While there are some women who do not display any symptoms whatsoever, there are others who experience angina, which is a dull chest pain and/or discomfort that can be heavy to sharp in nature, pain in their upper back or abdomen or pain in their neck/throat/jaw. These pains can occur while you are resting, when you begin any physical activity or they can also be triggered due to mental stress.

Women in general are more likely to describe their chest pain as sharp and burning, and they are more frequently prone to pain in their jaw, neck, throat, back, or abdomen.

The disease symptoms can sometimes be completely silent and the disease is not diagnosed until a woman begins experiencing signs and/or symptoms of a heart conditions such as heart failure, heart attack, a heart arrhythmia or a stroke. Symptoms Women May Experience

Symptoms of a heart attack can include:

Discomfort and/or pain in your chest

Pain in the upper back

Heartburn

Indigestion

Upper body discomfort

Nausea/vomiting

Extreme fatigue

Shortness of breath

Symptoms of an arrhythmia can include:

Fluttering feelings in your chest (heart palpitations)

Symptoms of heart failure can include:

Shortness of breath

Swelling of your ankles/feet/legs/abdomen

Fatigue

Symptoms of a stroke can include:

A sudden weakness, or paralysis (unable to move)

Numbness of the face/legs/arms especially on one particular side of your body

Confusion

Trouble speaking and/or understanding speech

Difficulty seeing out of either one or both eyes

Shortness of breath

Loss of balance or coordination

Dizziness

Loss of consciousness

Sudden, and severe headache

Key Risk Factors For Women

These are all significant risk factors for heart disease in women. Nearly half of all Americans (about 49%) have at least one of the three key risk factors, and 90% of women have at least one risk factor.

High blood pressure

Smoking

High levels of LDL cholesterol

A number of lifestyle choices and medical conditions can also increase the risk for disease of the heart in women, these include:

Diabetes

Excessive alcohol consumption

Physical inactivity

Poor diet

Overweight and/or obesity

Screening

Prevention

Regular screenings, blood tests, and healthy lifestyle choices can go a long way to preventing heart disease and its repercussions. Many times women fail to take care of themselves until it’s almost too late. Take the time to take care of your health and ask your doctor about your heart health.

Russell (Rusty) Hart is the founder of the Health, Fitness & Sport Club, a website devoted to the promotion of health, fitness and wellness. http://www.healthfitnessandsport.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=J_Russell_Hart



Vascular Stroke Screening Helps Indicate Early Stroke Detection Risks

11Cardiovascular disease (heart and circulatory disease) causes more than one in four of all deaths in the UK – that’s around 160,000 deaths a year. This figure includes deaths from stroke, heart attacks, heart failure, cardiomyopathy and atrial fibrillation.

How can vascular stroke screening help?

Because strokes and heart attacks are so-called ‘silent killers’ in that they rarely have any symptoms and strike without warning, it makes good sense to have your vascular health (that’s the health of your arteries) checked. Vascular Stroke Screening is a comprehensive package of scans and ultrasound tests, which can you, give a representative snapshot of the state of your arteries.

Finding out if you have a problem with your arteries gives you the chance to lower your risk factors for a stroke or heart attack before it happens by making lifestyle changes such as taking more exercise, giving up smoking and losing weight, as well as taking medication to help lower you blood pressure and cholesterol and controlling your blood sugar.

What ‘s included in vascular stroke screening?

Our package of scans costs £179 and is available to men over 45, the purpose is to examine three key areas of the body to assess the state of your vascular system (arteries).

These examinations include:

  • An abdominal aorta scan: The aorta is the main blood vessel leading from the heart down to your abdomen and the rest of the body. It’s normally about the width of a hosepipe (approximately 2cm), but if the wall weakens it can ‘bulge’ to (this is called aortic dilatation) double the size at 5.5cm and can be in danger of bursting. This is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm and is rare but very serious, because if it bursts it can cause fatal bleeding. A rupture accounts for one in 50 deaths in men aged over 65 and causes 6,000 deaths a year in England. Ultrasound Direct’s scan of your aorta will examine the aorta to check for signs of an abdominal aortic aneurysm and also examine the iliac arteries, a network of arteries that supply a number of areas of the body including the lower limbs and pelvis. The scan will be checking for signs of narrowing caused by calcification (fatty deposits) or thrombus build-up (clotted blood) and can also monitor aortic dilatation (swelling of the aorta).

If an abdominal aortic aneurysm is detected, both kidney and renal arteries will be checked too.

  • A carotid scan: The carotid arteries are in the front of your neck and carry oxygenated blood to the brain. When the carotid arteries narrow due to a build-up of plaque it raises the risk of you having a stroke. Carotid artery disease accounts for 20 in 100 of all strokes. Our Doppler ultrasound examination will check the size; condition and blood flow of your carotid arteries, from their origin to where they divide in two, to supply different areas of the brain/ head. We will also check internal and external carotid arteries and vertebral arteries. The scan will check for plaque build-up and narrowing.
  • A scan for peripheral arterial disease: Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is where your arteries begin to narrow – it affects one in five men aged 50 to 75 and one in eight women in the same age group. It mainly affects the arteries supplying blood to the legs. The main symptom of PAD is pain in one leg or both on walking (this is called intermittent claudication), but only one in four people experience any symptoms – hence why scanning is a good idea as it can help build up a picture of your arteries. Ultrasound Direct uses a Doppler scan to measure blood flow in the brachial arteries in both arms and also takes a blood pressure measurement in the arm and the ankle while a person is at rest called the ankle brachial index. The Doppler scan also checks the tibial arteries in both legs. The tests will help your sonographer determine whether you have signs of PAD, and can also help with on-going monitoring of aortic dilatation.

If you do have PAD, taking 30 minutes of exercise a day (walking is regarded as the best form) has been shown to improve PAD symptoms, as it encourages a network of smaller blood vessels to grow and improves blood flow to the legs.

We will provide a sonographer’s report at the time of the scan with a medical follow-up recommendation if needed.

Preparing for your vascular stroke screening

Prior to your appointment you’ll be asked to fast for eight hours – so no breakfast if your appointment is in the morning and no lunch if it’s in the afternoon. Stick to clear fluids (black tea or coffee are allowed). Diabetics are allowed to eat but must avoid fatty/dairy products.

We advise wearing a loose-fitting top, which is easy to get on and off, as you’ll need to expose the upper and lower parts of your abdomen, neck, upper arms and ankles.

Stroke screening and heart attack screening can be combined in Ultrasound Direct’s Vascular Stroke Screening tests – a thorough MOT of three main areas in your vascular system

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Arlene_Delmendo

Tips to Help Prevent Heart Disease

healthy-heart-e1395869781212Life is so uncertain. Sometimes things affect us that we have no control over. However, there are an immense number of things that we can do to greatly improve our odds of achieving many of our goals, including good-health goals. As I get older, I witness more and more cases of heart attacks, cancer, and even broken bones that could, in part, be a result of osteoporosis. Heart disease is way at the top of the list of things that happen to older people, but it actually starts at a younger age.

In order to prevent heart disease, it is important to follow a heart-healthy lifestyle. The Mayo Clinic lists some very good tips that will benefit everyone.

  1. Don’t smoke or use tobacco.
  2. Exercise for 30 minutes most days.
  3. Eat a heart-healthy diet.
  4. Maintain healthy weight.
  5. Get enough quality sleep.
  6. Get regular health screenings.

If you can, get 30 to 60 minutes of exercise most days. More benefits are reaped by increasing the duration, frequency, and intensity of your exercise. However, even less exercise has its benefits and do what you can, even if it means dividing the 30 minutes into three 10-minute intervals.

What makes a “heart-healthy” diet? Here is where I think it is very easy to fail, even when you think you are eating healthy. Do you even think about whether you are eating saturated fats or trans fats? We should avoid or limit our saturated fats. Saturated fats are found in red meat, dairy products, and in coconut oil.

We should also avoid or limit our consumption of trans fats. Trans fats are found in deep-fried fast foods, bakery products, packaged snack foods, margarine, and crackers. The label “partially hydrogenated” means trans fat!

You should have some healthy fats. Some places healthy fats are found include avocado, nuts, olives, and olive oil.

In your healthy diet, you should be getting 5 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

Regarding alcohol, women should limit consumption to one drink a day, and men two drinks a day. In moderation, alcohol actually offers a protective effect. More is a health hazard.

Another tip for maintaining good heart health is to chill out! Relax and relieve your stress. You may do meditation, yoga, meet with friends, take a walk.

It is a good idea to know your family medical history if possible.

Something I have found that I really like are the Lifeline Screenings. With today’s technology, they are able to check so many indicators of our health. It is a great way to find out how you are doing.

So, be wise, take charge of your health, eat a healthy diet, exercise, take vitamin and mineral supplements to help make up for what you don’t get in your daily diet, and be thankful that you are doing some great things so that you will be more likely to live a good quality life!

As we age, in order to maintain optimum health, the body seems to have a higher requirement for nutrition and exercise. One way to increase nutrition is to add vitamin & mineral supplements, such as can be found at http://www.NutritionTeam.net. For more articles by Judy Thompson delivered straight to your inbox, get your free subscription at http://www.LearnNutritionBasics.com. The Bible in Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge… ” Don’t let your lack of knowledge destroy your health… get your free subscription today!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Judy_Thompson

How To Keep Active Mentally and Physically After Retirement

Keeping active daily and learning new things can make for a stimulating retirement with little boredom. If you didn’t lead an active life, now is a great time to start since nothing is in the way to hold you back.Exercise class

Hanging out with other seniors that are active will help you stay active, too. You may not keep at it unless you are motivated, and having friends join you in an activity helps you keep doing it. If you are starting a new activity, have a spouse or buddy join with you.

Doing aerobic exercise increases your endurance which increases your heart rate and breathing capacity. Some examples are:

  • brisk walking
  • swimming
  • dancing
  • biking

Strength exercise, which includes lifting free weights, increases muscle mass and strength. You can also accomplish this by using resistance bands. It is also good for maintaining your bone density which prevents any falls from doing a lot of damage. The weights don’t need to be too heavy to do the job, and you can fit in short series of repetitions throughout the day.

You really want to work on keeping your muscles working well. This will help you stay functional in all areas of your life. Plus you will be less likely to suffer a serious break if you fall. It will be easier to carry in your groceries and even lift up your new grandchild.

Stretching exercises keep you flexible. Yoga is a great exercise for seniors because it is low impact and the stretching is slow and gentle. There are also at home stretching workouts using a ballet barre. And doing balance exercises with it will increase your balance and help prevent falls. Being limber will help keep you active around the house which can make living on your own safer. If you don’t have a bar to hold onto you could use a stable chair, table edge or countertop.

As a senior, you have more time to spend on hobbies and other activities.

If a certain hobby has interested you throughout the years, during retirement you can take classes to immerse yourself and get to the next level or skill. You can even travel to distant cities to take courses for more intensive training, if you feel inclined to do so.

You can learn a skill you didn’t have had time for in the past. If learning the piano was always out of reach, it is something you can learn now and in less than a year you can play your favorite music easily.

Giving yourself challenges is important to keep you looking forward. Keeping active mentally and physically helps you maintain your memory and your muscle mass while doing the things you love. There really is nothing you can’t do if you put your mind to it. Make your retirement a time to bloom.

Russell (Rusty) Hart is the founder of the Health, Fitness & Sport Club, a website devoted to the promotion of health, fitness and wellness. Should this subject matter be of interest you can visit the HF & S Club home site where you’ll find over 1,300 quality posts with new posts being published daily. To quickly access those that are of interest you can select any of 20 Categories broken down by over 260 Sub-Categories for easy access.

Access this website by going to http://www.healthfitnessandsport.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=J_Russell_Hart

photo by:

Top 4 Ways to Naturally Lower Cholesterol

People often request for ways to reduce high cholesterol levels and to lead a healthy life, but are unaware that the solution to their problems usually start with themselves.

Besides medication that may contain side-effects, there are some natural ways where people can reduce their cholesterol levels. In comparison to prescribed drugs, these natural ways are risk-free, do not have side effects and will almost definitely improve one’s health and life.

Something more fatal than prescribed drugs would be to totally ignore one’s cholesterol levels and with time, their worsened condition would lead to a stroke, or even a heart attack.

Here are 4 great ways to improve your life and health while maintaining a healthy cholesterol level with the use of medication.

A Healthy Diet

It sounds almost impractical for one to have a healthy lifestyle unless one becomes a vegetarian. In a modern society where fast-food has almost become the staple food for youths and where unhealthy food is available almost everywhere, even if we are watchful over our diet, one still is unable to escape the fate of ingesting more cholesterol than they should.

However, having a low fat and low cholesterol diet is often the first step to lowering one’s cholesterol level. Consumption of fiber and spices also have beneficial effects on the body to reduce cholesterol levels in the body. 

Exercise

Getting out of the couch and to start moving is often one of the best ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle! Through exercise, running, cycling, swimming, basketball, one can improve their cardiovascular health and strengthen their heart and circulatory system.

Though exercise may not directly reduce one’s cholesterol; but the strengthening of the circulatory system can help reduce stroke or heart attacks chances. Moreover, exercise can help one reduce their weight which also helps reduce the cholesterol levels in a person’s body. 

Stop Smoking

Smoking builds up the plaque in one’s arteries causes by high cholesterol much faster. As a result, a smoker’s heart has to work much harder to pump blood through those clogged up arteries to provide oxygen for the whole body.

This extra work forced onto the heart can actually cause heart failure, or when the arteries are completely blocked, there is a high chance a stroke or heart attack would occur.

Learn to relax

High levels of stress can also cause one to have high levels of cholesterol. When a person is constantly placed under stress, even when he is under a low cholesterol diet, the result of lowered cholesterol would be very limited.

To achieve a lower cholesterol level, we must first to learn to stay relaxed despite under stressful conditions, only then would the other steps to reduce cholesterol be more effective. 

You need not wait very long to observe the results of lowered cholesterol. In a few weeks, you can sense an improvement in your health and have your cholesterol level lowered significantly.

"Get Our Free Health Newsletter!"
Great tips & tricks to help you live a better life.

5 Little Known Facts About Heart Disease


Each and every year heart disease kills millions of people around the globe.

In fact, it’s the leading cause of death, 40% of deaths in the US are caused by heart disease, and in many cases it’s completely preventable.

hearthealth

The solution is relatively simple in theory, eat healthy, manage stress, and exercise.

However, putting those words of wisdom into practice can be tricky.

heartIt’s particularly challenging because there are so many factors that affect the health of your heart – from good sleep to the type of foods you eat and how you exercise.

Let’s explore some of the little known facts about heart disease to help you take better care of your health.

#1 The Silent Killer. Since 1984, heart disease has killed more women every year than men. It’s more deadly to women than all types of cancer combined.

And when women have a heart attack, they don’t often understand their symptoms.

For many women the symptoms of a heart attack feel a lot like the flu. Common symptoms include nausea, indigestion, and shoulder aches.

Men generally experience chest pain.

#2 Getting a flu shot cuts your risk for a heart attack or stroke by up to 50 percent.

What’s the connection between your heart health and the flu? According to physicians at Harvard Medical School, when you get the flu, your body has a significant immune response, which causes inflammation.

This inflammation causes the plaque inside your blood vessels to become unstable and cause blockages and potential heart attacks.

Additionally, changes in your lungs from the flu virus lower blood oxygen levels. Your heart has to work harder to deliver the same amount of oxygen to your brain and tissues.

Finally, the flu virus can directly damage heart muscle cells.

#3 The Diabetes Link. The vast majority of heart attacks, seventy percent, are caused by insulin resistance – the same cause of type 2 diabetes.

Don’t know your glucose levels? At risk for diabetes or already have diabetes? There are things you can do to take control of your health.

A healthy diet and exercise are essential and can reverse type 2 diabetes and reduce your risk of a heart attack.

Learn your risk by having a few tests done. Knowledge is power.

#4 The Stress Connection. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that stress has an impact on heart health.

However, you may be surprised to learn that you’re more likely to have a heart attack on Monday morning than at any other time of the week.

Additionally, women who go on vacation at least twice a year less likely to suffer a heart attack or die from heart disease.

#5 Laugh More, Eat Dark Chocolate, and Have Sex. All three of these joys of life have a positive impact on heart health. They’re certainly a fun way to stay healthy.

Heart disease may be the number one killer but it doesn’t have to be your story. Talk to your doctor, know your risk and take steps today to begin to reduce your risk.

hearthealth

And now I would like to invite you to visit http://www.ahealthinfo.com for FREE Instant Access to How You Can Control High Blood Pressure