March 05, 2008

Heart Disease Prevention: Top 7 Ways to Avoid Having a Heart Attack or Stroke

by Jason Clark

Did you know that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of both men and women in the western world? Heart disease is known as the 'Silent Killer' because for 50% of its victims the first sign of trouble is death.

Many otherwise healthy looking people are at risk of cardiovascular disease everyday. If you feel you're at risk of heart disease or worry about having a frightening heart attack or stroke, below are the 7 top ways to help you have healthy cardiovascular health:

1.) High blood pressure - Also known as hypertension, it usually has no symptoms. It damages your blood vessels and is caused by gradual abnormal thickening of the arteries which become inelastic and don't flux. Treatment usually means a change in lifestyle (see factors below) or medicine.

2.) Smoking - Tobacco and cigarette smoke is considered the major contributory cause of heart disease. Smoking decreases HDL (good) cholesterol and over a period of year's relentless build up of fatty acids in the artery gradually chokes off the blood supply until you have a heart attack or stroke.

3.) High Cholesterol - The higher your cholesterol level the more likely it is you'll get heart disease. Diet, weight, age/gender, physical activity and family history are the factors that will determine whether you will be susceptible to high cholesterol. You can reduce the risk by following a low-cholesterol, low-fat diet and participate in a regular aerobic exercise plan.

4.) Overweight and obese - Refers to an excess of bodyweight usually set to BMI standards (Body Mass Index). It raises your high cholesterol levels, blood pressure and can cause you diabetes, as well as many other diseases.

5.) Physical inactivity - Lack of exercise maximizes self-inflicted risk factors such as smoking, high cholesterol and obesity. Exercise helps your heart pump blood more effectively and balances good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol, helps you lose weight, lowers blood pressure and reduces stress.

6.) Diabetes - More than 65 percent of people who have this die of some kind of cardiovascular disease. If your blood glucose levels are higher than normal and not controlled, this can affect the lining of the body's arterial walls which promotes the buildup of fatty plaques. When damage affects the major arteries, the result may be a heart attack or stroke.

7.) Stress - Studies show that nearly 40% of all heart attacks occur between 6am and 9am on Monday mornings. Stress related heart attacks are increasing at an alarming rate. People de-stress by drinking, smoking or overeating, without doing these in moderation it could lead you to obesity and high blood pressure.

After reading this article it's clear that many of these risk factors are related, make a few simple lifestyle changes TODAY and you can live a longer, happier and healthier life. Can't you?
Jason Clark, is an established health advisor since 2003, makes it easy for you to avoid heart disease and strokes. FREE CD! Listen to Dr Joe Prendergast, MD, and Discover the latest Cardiovascular Health Breakthrough that could save your life by visiting:
http://www.NoMoreHeartDiseaseAndStrokes.com