Thirty seven million, eight hundred and sixty nine thousand, one hundred and twenty. That’s the number of times your heart beats in one year if your heart beats at 72 times per minute. If you live to the age of 70, your heart will beat approximately 2,.65 billion times. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to experience a lot more heartbeats than that! If you do too, then there are some things you need to know about heart disease and how to prevent it.
Did you know that approximately one half of all deaths in the U.S. is caused by heart disease? Would it also surprise you to know that heart disease is one of the most preventable chronic diseases? According to the American Heart Association, an American dies from some form of heart disease every 33 seconds. That amounts to about 954,000 deaths annually. Every 20 seconds an American suffers a heart attack and every 60 seconds somebody dies from one. Women die more often from heart disease outnumbering men 52.3% to 47.7%.
What are the risk factors for heart disease?
- Genetic Predisposition: Some researchers believe that genetics may account for 20% of heart attacks and strokes. Elevated blood fibrinogen levels, influenced by heredity, may also play a role in heart disease.
- Hypertension: Approximately 67 million Americans have high blood pressure and 36 million of them do not have it under control. In fact, many of them don’t even know they have it! The risk of heart disease rises significantly when high blood pressure is left untreated. In addition, a large percentage of patients labeled as hypertensive have nutritional deficiencies, heavy metal toxicity, toxicity from pesticides and chemical poisons or an autonomic nervous system imbalance.
- Diabetes and insulin resistance: Dr. Robert A. Anderson, M.D., states that, “The presence of diabetes accelerates premature degeneration of arterial walls, inducing circulatory deficiencies.” Type II diabetes can also cause corticosteroid levels to increase, can increase biochemical stress as well as increase the production of high levels of free radicals.
- Hypothyroidism: An under active thyroid may contribute to heart disease and increased risk of heart attack according to Borda O. Barnes, M.D.
- Smoking: Approximately 191,000 Americans annually die of heart disease related to smoking. This is 44% more people than are killed by smoking-related lung cancer.
- Mercury poisoning: Dental amalgam fillings are the most common cause of mercury poisoning and mercury toxicity can play a hidden role in cardiovascular disease. It can also be caused by exposure to mercury in the environment and from certain fish.
So how can you prevent heart disease? According to W. Lee Cowden, M.D., “The average American lifestyle, combining too little exercise, too much stress, and a diet of highly processed foods deficient in essential nutrients, has rendered this nation’s population especially vulnerable to the ravages of heart ailments.” The solution is pretty simple really but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. In order to prevent heart disease or to improve your current heart health, it will require some lifestyle changes. Making those changes requires commitment on your part, so the first question to ask yourself is, “How committed am I to improving my health?” Once you have determined the answer to that question you can take the following steps:
1. Begin by making a list of benefits that you will enjoy as your health improves.
- Write down your health goals. Share these goals with others, and if possible, participate in healthy behaviors together. Support each other throughout the process.
- Eat minimal amounts of processed foods and saturated fats, buy organic fruits and vegetables, and reduce fried foods, sodium, sugar, tobacco and alcohol. Increase your fiber to between 30 – 35 grams per day and include complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, beans, and legumes. Work with a nutritionist to determine which foods and amounts are best for you.
- You may need certain supplements based on your health history and current medications. Supplements such as CoQ10, B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and calcium, potassium, selenium and amino acids may all help improve heart conditions. Complete a BioNutritional Nutri-Body ® Analysis to determine which supplements your body requires.
- Participate in moderate exercise. Set a goal to engage in aerobic exercise a minimum of 20 minutes, 3 times per week. Walk the stairs in your home, walk outside, go biking or work in your yard. Add an additional 1-2 days of strength training by using free weights, canned goods or exercise bands. This can help you control your weight and build lean muscle mass. Don’t let not having all of the “right” equipment keep you from moving and working out your body.
- If you have metal fillings or gum disease, see your dentist. Replace metal fillings.
- Have a regular yearly health exam and talk with your physician about having your thyroid checked.
- Learn to say “NO”. Create boundaries that will protect your time and energy. Learning to say no can be difficult, but you weren’t designed to take on every task and everyone else’s problems.
- Check out alternative health therapies such as Young Living’s 100% therapeutic grade essential oils to reduce cholesterol, boost your immune system, and decrease blood pressure. Complete a Zyto Compass Digital Body Scan to determine which Young Living Essential Oil products would be most beneficial for you.
- Get a Prescription Drug/Supplement and Herbal Interaction Analysis of all of the prescription drugs, supplements, herbs and over-the-counter drugs you are taking to determine possible drug interactions and side effects.
- Engage in stress reducing activities such as reading, listening to music, deep breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, prayer, stretching, calling a friend, or taking a bubble bath. Make time for yourself and find a space where you can be quiet and relax. One great place to go is the Relaxation Room at Holistic Journeys…a place where you will be pampered and refueled. It’s also important to give yourself permission to relax and rest. Remember, even God rested on the seventh day!
Learning to make a few simple lifestyle changes can drastically improve your heart health as well as your overall health. While it might be difficult at first, keep at it. Enlist friends and family for support. In the end it will all be worth it!
Our guest author is Shari Hudson is a certified Holistic Health Practitioner and Nutritionist, is the owner of Holistic Journeys. Contact Shari to find out more about the services listed above as well as other services offered. She is a friend of Treasure Chest Ministries supporting others by helping them make healthy choices.
Contributor: Shari Hudson, HHP, NC, MAOM
Company Information: Holistic Journeys, 8450 Hickman Road, Suite 2, Clive, IA 50325
Web: www:Holistic-Journeys.com Email: Shari@Holistic-Journeys.com