Preventing Heart Disease

It is strange to think that though we lock our doors at night to keep dangerous criminals out of our homes and buckle our seat belts every time we get into the car in case of an automobile-related emergency, the leading cause of death in the United States is not from home invasions or vehicle crashes, but from something that is actually within every person: the heart. Heart disease, in particular, is the leading cause of death in the nation. Luckily, medical research has shown that it is also a preventable condition.

The heart is a hard working organ. It is responsible for pumping all of the blood through your circulatory system, recharging your muscles and organs with fresh oxygen and whisking away the toxic buildups that cell activity creates. Yet, many people do not adequately take care of their hearts. In fact, 631,636 people died from heart disease in 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's 26 percent of all the deaths for that year. Out of all the different types of heart disease, coronary heart disease is the most common type that afflicts people. Yet, all of the deaths and health care expenses associated with heart disease can be avoided with some proper precautionary measures.

Keeping your cholesterol and blood pressure level in check is the best way to prevent heart disease. It is also a good way for those with heart disease to reduce their risk of having heart attacks or needing heart bypass surgeries. You can do this by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. This means that while you can indulge in the occasional Krispy Kreme donut, you should also be sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and grains and participate in your favorite physical activity, whether it is jogging or kick boxing. This will not only keep you slim and trim, but it could also extend your life span by warding off heart disease symptoms. Inactivity is a risk factor that a whopping 39.5 percent of adults with heart disease share, and obesity is shared by 33.9 percent of all heart disease patients, according to the CDC. This is proof that exercise and maintaining a healthy weight is essential in preventing heart disease. Other risk factors include high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

Prevention is key when it comes to handling heart disease. Too many people have their lives unnecessarily cut short by cardiac arrests and other symptoms associated with heart disease, but with proper precaution, you can avoid being one of them.