Have you heard of someone being heart dead and still living? If so, you have witnessed a true miracle! You have heard of people being brain dead while their heart still beats via life support. Once the ticker stops ticking, life is over.
February is American Heart Month endorsed by the CDC and the American Heart Association. Valentine’s Day may be about pleasing the emotional heart of your significant other, making sure they take care of their biological heart is of the utmost importance first.
According to the CDC, around 500,000 people every year die from heart disease, which makes it the top killer of Americans. Stroke is number five, and often a result of hypertension, which also is the cause of heart disease. Let’s talk hypertension, shall we? Hypertension affects half of the adult population in the United States, yet only 25% have it under control. That’s not a lot of people considering the amount it affects daily. Hypertension is blood pressure higher than 130/80. Do you know your average blood pressure?
The major problem with hypertension is most Americans either don’t know they have it or ignore it. Of the 108 million people who have hypertension, 1 in 3 do not treat it, and 3 in 4 leave it uncontrolled. Where do you fall in this classification?
Hypertension is a lifestyle disease caused by obesity factors and poor choices in eating, compounded by a lack of exercise. It’s not rocket science to understand the percentages with 30% or more, depending on your area, classified as obese, to see why hypertension is America’s ongoing pandemic. Drive-by Canes or Popeye’s, and you’ll see how this pandemic literally feeds itself to death.
COVID-19 severe risk factors are also directly connected to obesity and those with heart disease. To be honest, the math adds up on why the virus has killed so many people. Unfortunately, it’s not news to tell someone to stop eating fried and processed foods and get off the couch or die. I’m telling you now, change your eating and exercise habits to avoid being part of the 500,000 heart disease deaths annually.
Three easy ways to improve your heart and reduce hypertension risk:
- Eat fried foods once per week or less aka fast-food chains
- Elevate your heart rate to 65% of its max for 30 minutes, 3x per week
- Park within the last 3 spots furthest away from the door when at the grocery store
Try my suggestions or use them as ideas that fit your likes and habits. Besides some genetic factors, you are the one in control of your heart’s health. Don’t be the victim of your own poor choices that land you in the hospital and on medications that could be 100% prevented.
The first step to any positive change is acknowledgment you need to make that change. Do not beat yourself up over past years of treating your body badly. Make the decision NOW to institute small edits into your normal eating and physical activity plans. Small changes add up to big results at the end of the week and month. Other positive side effects are weight loss, increased energy, and higher self-confidence.
How can you implement these ideas?
- Use a fitness tracker for elevating your heart rate, not just step
- Use a calorie tracker for your food intake (math is hard and this is a basic math problem)
- Join an online support group with similar goals
If you need more assistance, please email me at email@example.com. I’m more than happy to give a few suggestions. Also, go to my website and download my free report on back to register to win a signed copy of my book The Athlete in the Game of Life.