Coronary heart disease often simply called Heart Disease occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle become hardened and narrowed due to a build up of plaque on the arteries inner walls. Plaque is the accumulation of fat, cholesterol and other substances, as plaque continues to build up in the arteries, blood flow to the heart is reduced. Heart Disease can lead to a heart attack.
Heart disease is the #1 killer of both women and men, it affects many people at midlife, it can also happen to do those who feel fine. As early as age 45, a man's risk of heart disease begins to rise significantly, for a woman, risk starts to increase at the age of 55. Fifty percent of men, and sixty four percent of women who die suddenly of heart disease have no previous symptoms of the disease. Many young people are also vulnerable, studies show that about two thirds of teenagers already have at least one risk factor for heart disease.
Risk factors are conditions or habits that make a person more likely to develop a disease. They can also increase the chances that an existing disease will get worse. Important risk factors for heart disease that you can do something about are:
-High blood pressure
-High blood cholesterol
-Being physically inactive -Having a family history of early heart disease
THE BIG FOUR LIFESTYLE HABITS
Four habits that help prevent heart disease
- Eat a healthy diet ; -choose a variety of grains daily, half of daily grains should come from whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat, popcorn, oat meal, sorghum, wheat bread etc -Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables daily. -Choose a diet that is low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. Examples of Foods high in bad fats (red meat, butter, cheese, and ice cream, as well as processed foods made with trans fat from partially hydrogenated oil). -Choose and prepare foods with little salt
- Get regular physically activity ; GET UP AND MOVE! Current recommendations are to get 150 minutes per week of exercise. That’s 30 minutes, 5 times a week on average. While a great goal, most people don’t get anywhere near that amount. Good news is that research shows 10 minutes a day can make a difference in reducing elevated cholesterol, blood pressure and triglycerides
- Maintain a healthy weight; Get your BMI (body mass index) to 25 or below
- Avoid smoking
You can lower your risk of heart disease enormously by as much as 82% by adopting sensible healthy habits, its never too late to start protecting your heart health. It is vital to adopt and practice the big four lifestyle habits..