The heart is the most valuable organ in the body, yet it is often the most mistreated. Heart disease is the number one killer disease in the United States. It is a silent killer that has extreme consequences, such as heart attack and stroke. Clogged arteries and stress on the body can create high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, which are attributed to coronary heart disease, coronary artery disease and cardiovascular disease. These diseases all have one thing in common, they kill your heart.
The causes of heart disease are fairly common, detectable and most importantly are adjustable. Most people do not change their lifestyle until it is too late because heart attacks and stroke don’t always happen to young people. However, the causes of heart disease can now be detected early on and doctors are finding them in patients at much younger age. Heart attacks in older adults can be prevented if action is taken now.
Listed below are the common causes, as well as helpful tips, for getting the hearts of Americans on the right track.
Studies show that the risk of developing heart disease is 25 to 30% higher for people exposed to second-hand smoke at home or at work. According to the American Heart Association, exposure to tobacco smoke contributes to approximately 34,000 premature deaths from heart disease and 7,300 lung cancer deaths each year. And nonsmokers who have high blood pressure or high cholesterol have an even greater risk of developing heart disease when exposed to second-hand smoke. This is because the chemicals released by cigarette smoke promote the development of plaque buildup in the arteries. Stay firm with smokers who do not want to surround the environment with smoke and keep children away from second-hand smoke.
Studies have shown that increased levels of stress in individuals resulted in heart attacks in some age groups. It is also clear that stress can lead to the development of bad behaviors, such as the two causes mentioned above. Getting more sleep at night will significantly reduce the amount of stress on the heart, as well as exercise, instead of relying on other bad behaviors such as excessive drinking or smoking. Try listening to soothing music without words. Many of our thoughts alone can clutter our thinking and can lead to stress. Sometimes we need to relax and start the process of dealing with these thoughts in a more productive way.
The strongest muscle in your body is your heart. Just like the rest of your body needs to be worked, your heart is the leader overall and needs your attention. Regular exercise can lower your LOL (bad cholesterol) and blood pressure. As mentioned before, exercise will also help reduce stress which will in turn put the focus on healthy habits that are good for your heart. Regular exercise will also help promote a good night’s sleep.
Not getting enough sleep at night causes a buildup of plaque in the arteries, which also raises levels of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol leads to inflammation and causes plaque to break apart that travels to the heart and brain, which causes heart attack and stroke. Getting at least eight hours of sleep per night not only helps reduce plaque buildup but reduces stress that leads to unhealthy habits.