Heart-Healthy Habits for Preventing Many Chronic Illnesses

In developed societies, inhabitants enjoy the conveniences of the automobile to get around places, supermarkets to shop for food, and the entertainment industry to supply a means of past time. Although it may seem like a long time has passed since the hunter-and-gatherer society, our bodies have not adapted to the post-industrial society with an advanced infrastructure both physically and virtually.

Getting necessities has become easy that we move a lot less as a result. It may be a significant contributor to the rising obesity prevalence worldwide from 1975 to 2016 as data from the World Health Organization suggests [2]. It may also be part of the problem in the rise of heart disease death rates increasing from 1920 before leveling off in 1965 [3]. Therefore, it cannot be stressed enough that exercise can help prevent a myriad of health issues, namely heart disease. Engaging in physical activities regularly, such as walking and jogging, provides many benefits [4]:

  • Improve the strength and resiliency of the heart
  • Prevent the formation of plaques in the blood vessels
  • Increase blood delivery to vital organs
  • Lower bad cholesterol such as LDL and triglycerides
  • Increase insulin-sensitivity
  • Enhance oxygen-carrying capacity in the blood

We can see how exercise improves heart health, cholesterol levels, and carbohydrate metabolism leading to a more balanced and energetic life. Having a heart-healthy diet is another form of preventive care. As discussed in a previous post, we have to cut back on sugar consumption to reduce inflammation responsible for putting the body in a high-alert state. A healthy body is in ‘homeostasis’ which is a stable physiological state. Artificial and processed foods interfere with this equilibrium state, but not natural foods that are grown from the ground. Hence, you would want to have more fiber, fruits, and vegetables for proper nutrition.

As we see again, exercising and eating healthy are elements for preventing heart disease.

References

[1] Harvard Health Letter. (2020). 5 overlooked symptoms that may signal heart trouble. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/5-overlooked-symptoms-that-may-signal-heart-trouble

[2] World Health Organization. (n.d.). Global Health Observatory (GHO) data. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/gho/ncd/risk_factors/overweight_obesity/obesity_adults/en/

[3] The American Journal of Medicine Blog. (2016). Trends in coronary atherosclerosis: a tale of two population subgroups. Retrieved from https://amjmed.org/trends-in-coronary-atherosclerosis-a-tale-of-two-population-subgroups/

[4] Nystoriak, M. A., & Bhatnagar, A. (2018). Cardiovascular Effects and Benefits of Exercise. Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine5, 135. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6172294/

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