Our heart is hardest working organ in our body. It pumps blood to near and distant blood vessels throughout our entire lifespan. Our lifestyle determines whether we will have healthy heart or it will be our biggest enemy. Heart diseases are No.1 killer in US.
As mentioned before, heart diseases are the killer, but they aren't inevitable. Because the largest number of heart diseases is direct consequence of what we eat, whether we exercise, whether we smoke and so; it is clear that almost every heart condition can be prevented by adopting some ground rules.
Look after your blood pressure. It is the silent killer. Hypertension is a cause of many diseases. It starts silently. Because of lack of the symptoms, the damage occurred before you noticed and identified the problem can be large. Hypertension can cause stroke, heart attack, kidney failure or premature death. Because it is hard to identify, the treatment often comes very late. Some patients who are even aware of their high blood pressure, aren't treated correctly, or refuse to take medications or even take medications in a wrong manner. That is why hypertension kills very large number of people every day. So, what can you do?
Control your blood pressure. When cholesterol builds up on the walls of your blood vessels, your heart needs to pump blood twice as hard in order to deliver it to the distant organs and cells. So it is overworking. If this situation lasts for years and decades, it will inevitably become weaker and larger in order to pump more blood. Add obesity, cigarettes, alcohol or some other chronic disease and you'll get a very big problem. Try to keep your blood pressure lower than 140/90 mmHg. One fine way to do it is to clean up walls of your blood vessels by exercising. This exercise doesn't have to be heavy. One mile walk, taking the stairs instead of elevator, running with your kids will do.
Decrease amount of salt taken. It is not a secret that salt increases blood pressure. Average man takes almost 9 grams of salt per day, although just 500 mg is enough for you. This can be very dangerous for people with chronic heart or cardiovascular disease. Try to avoid fried and salty food, burgers and French fries and take fruits, vegetables, wheat and other food rich in fiber instead.
Decrease the amount of alcohol taken. Excessive drinking is linked to high blood pressure and interference of blood-flow. So, experts advise you that the daily amount of alcohol should not be more than 3 glasses.
Quit smoking. Nicotine, the chemical that comes with cigarettes, causes your blood vessels to constrict and, therefore, it increases your blood pressure. Recent studies revealed that quitting smoking in people with heart disease may decrease chances to die up to 65% in a three-year period.