General health and heart attack prevention begins with making better lifestyle choices. Although many questionable lifestyle choices and age put a person at greater risk of coronary disease, there is a segment of the population that has little control over cardiovascular disease. However, according to government statistics, most CVDs can be prevented by making changes to diet, physical activity level, and ceasing tobacco use. Also, some health sources suggest that as many as a half of the deaths and disabilities attributed to coronary disease can be prevented by reducing such risk factors as high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, obesity, and smoking. Heart attack prevention should be a concern for both men and women. That’s because CVDs afflict both genders. But reports suggest that more women of all ages die from coronary disease then do men. Both men and women from all geographical regions or socio-economic level are at risk of cardiovascular problems. Approximately 1.25 million people in the United States suffer a heart attack each year.
Many young people probably don’t think about ever having coronary disease, but heart attack prevention must start early in a person’s life. This is because the detrimental effects of a poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and other unhealthy choices will not always be immediately seen. Poor choices show up as a person ages. In addition to coronary disease, the major cardiovascular diseases include: stroke, hypertension, heart failure, and rheumatic heart disease. The heart is a muscle which ages along with the rest of the body. Therefore, early heart attack prevention is important to help keep the muscle strong and healthy later in life. As the person ages, arteries often narrow and stiffen. At the same time, the walls of the heart are also thickening. These changes cause blood pressure to increase in both men and women.
With age the risk of heart attack increases. Studies indicate that men over the age of 45 and women over the age of 55 are at the greatest risk. Some heat attack symptoms are typical for both men and women: chest pain, shortness of breath, cold sweat, light-headedness; pain in the arm, back, neck, jaw, or stomach. Other symptoms appear mostly in women: nausea, vomiting, weakness, indigestion, and fatigue. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and heart attack prevention program is important because symptoms may be insidious. They appear and develop so gradually that a person may not give them the attention they deserve. Although in some people symptoms can appear suddenly and without warning, in others signs of an impending coronary attack may be present six months or more in advance. Cardiovascular diseases are on the rise even in economically developed countries. In fact, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. And there is plenty of scientific evidence to support the conventional theories as to why this is happening. The three most often cited reasons are imbalanced nutrition, reduced physical activity, and tobacco use. These lifestyle factors lead to high blood pressure, higher blood cholesterol levels, and obesity.
But heart attack prevention should be a priority, especially for people who have close relatives that have either died or suffered from cardiovascular disease. Christians should feed and care for their body with the same dedication they nurture their spirit, even at an early age. Youth often brings feelings of invincibility, and good health may be taken for granted until something goes wrong. Health is precious, but it is not a passive activity. Health must be maintained and not ignored. The following verse from Proverbs is true in so many ways: “The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin. He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: be he that refuseth reproof erreth.” (Proverbs 10: 16-17) Some translations use the word discipline in this passage. Either way, maintaining good physical and spiritual health takes work, discipline, and instruction. Those who don’t work hard or refuse instruction from those who know put themselves at a greater risk of CVDs. Health does not come in a bottle. Aging does cause problems that can’t be prevented. Just don’t help the process along with poor choices early in life.
Pray for spiritual strength and guidance on proper heart attack prevention methods. Then begin making changes to dietary habits. Avoid saturated fats and trans-fatty acids. Instead increase consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can be derived from fish or plant sources. Eat more fruits and vegetables. And increase consumption of whole grains nuts. Limit salt and refined sugar intake. Increase physical activity to at least 30 minutes per day. Avoid smoking and maintain a healthy body weight. Tobacco smoke contains at least 4,800 chemicals, which can damage the heart. Nicotine also narrows the blood vessels. This makes the muscle work harder. As a result, the heart rate and blood pressure increase. Carbon monoxide found in cigarette smoke replaces oxygen in the blood. As a result, the muscle has to work harder to supply oxygen to the body. But studies indicate that the risk of cardiovascular disease drops dramatically within one year of quitting smoking. Another part of heart attack prevention is physical activity. Not only does regular exercise strengthen the muscle, physical exertion helps control weight. Small weight loss can decrease blood pressure and lower blood cholesterol. And get regular health screenings. Specifically have blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked frequently.