Living With A Healthy Heart

Living With A Healthy Heart – Heart Failure, Infarction, Stroke

With a healthy heart, you open the horizon for a life without a heart attack, heart failure, or stroke. The best thing to do is to start right away. Cardiovascular diseases are by far the most common cause of death in Germany. More than 200,000 women and men die as a result of heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure alone. Many – some experts say almost all – of these people could still be alive if they had taken a little precaution – by living with a healthy heart. It’s a lot easier than most people think.

More Than 200,000 Heart Deaths Per Year

Before we get to the precautionary recommendations, a few more depressing figures about the current state of German heart health. 300,000 Germans experience a heart attack every year – around 60,000 women and men do not survive it. 270,000 suffer a stroke – around 100,000 of them die within the first year. And 70 percent of the survivors remain disabled in the long term – many of them are dependent on a nursing home. In addition, around 50,000 Germans die every year as a result of cardiac insufficiency (in almost 600,000 cases). Many cardiovascular diseases are preventable About 90 percent of all heart attacks are preventable, writes Dr. Norbert Smetak, the chairman of the Federal Association of Resident Cardiologists on the website for the German World Heart Day (September 29, 2015). He would like people to take more responsibility for their health and take advantage of the opportunities provided by prevention.

Live With A Healthy Heart

To live with a healthy heart – to some people that sounds a lot like asceticism and exertion. It is relatively easy to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, or heart failure. The focus is on exercise, nutrition, the conscious use of luxury foods, and regular medical checks. Movement keeps the heart fit No matter what age and no matter what medical history: Our body is designed so that we can move. The movement clearly activates the body’s self-healing powers. Movement is essential for targeted preventive care – and it even speeds up healing after serious illnesses. While exercise cannot heal a seriously ill heart, it does improve the prospects for longer life. Privatdozent Dr. med. Friedhelm Späh told the German Heart Foundation: “Regular physical activity leads to a considerable decrease in mortality, especially for people over 65.” It also improves the quality of life in many ways. Nobody needs to do sports to strengthen their heart and circulation. Just 20 minutes of exercise in the fresh air a day can help you live a healthy life, whether it’s a walk, a short bike ride, or a few laps in the swimming pool.

Living With A Healthy Heart

Pay Attention To The Diet

Regularly fresh fruit and vegetables not only enrich the menu, they also taste good and, with their vitamins and trace elements, promote heart health and the immune system. A sedentary lifestyle and obesity are the most important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Living with a healthy heart means avoiding or reducing excess weight. Strict diets do not help. As a rule, they only lead to the yo-yo effect. What you lose in months with great abstinence is usually back on in a few weeks after the diet. Sustainable weight loss is especially successful if you change your diet so that you like to eat this way over the long term. A low-calorie mixed diet with lots of fresh regional and seasonal foods, preferably fruit and vegetables, is ideal. Even low-fat meat is not taboo – just in moderation. Whole grain products are a useful addition to the fresh menu. They make you feel full in the long term – and through dietary fiber and trace elements, they promote digestion as well as the metabolism and the immune system.

Check-Up Every Two Years

If you exercise enough, eat a healthy diet, and are of normal weight, the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure or high blood pressure is dramatically reduced. If you now have your family doctor checked you up every two years, the chances of a long, heart-healthy life are particularly good. Men and women from the age of 35 are also entitled to a check-up every 2 years with statutory health insurance. Among other things, you should have your blood lipid levels checked. Because elevated cholesterol levels can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The main concern is atherosclerosis, which leads to constricted or brittle blood vessels. Do not postpone a visit to the doctor in the event of acute symptoms A heart-healthy life also includes going to the doctor in the event of heart or circulatory problems without a clearly identifiable or known cause.

Typical signs of cardiovascular disease are, for example:

    • Pulse irregularities with no apparent cause
    • recurring pain in the heart area
    • unusual spells of dizziness
    • inexplicable inefficiency
    • decreased resilience
    • pronounced fatigue
    • shortness of breath
    • increased sweating
    • swollen legs
    • severe weight gain for no explainable cause

The heart benefits from serenity – you too!

“This is dear to my heart” or “It breaks my heart” – we call the heart the seat of our feelings. Even if this is not anatomically correct (feelings arise through mental evaluations in the brain), these sentences show an important connection. Our heart is very sensitive to stress. No wonder: stress is a defense reaction that puts the body in a state of alarm. We drive at full throttle, so to speak – and even the best engine cannot withstand that in the long run. The most pleasant side of a healthy-hearted life looks like this: Let your legs – and your soul – dangle more often. Just do what you enjoy doing. So that you can enjoy your heart-healthy life to the full for a long time. And as at the beginning of this article, something that you have known for a long time with some certainty: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption is harmful to the heart and health. Not that we are accused of forgetting.

Information about What Causes Low HDL

What causes low HDL are various. HDL is High-Density Lipoprotein, it is a good kind of cholesterol. This kind of cholesterol is a beneficial component that is able to prevent plaque and artery blockage, which are the trigger of heart attack and stroke. When the level of HDL is low, the body cannot erase LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) or the bad kind of cholesterol. So that it is important to keep your level of HDL in your body in the normal range. So, what can cause low HDL?

Genetic Factors

Some people complain that the level of their cholesterol does not reduce even though they already keep their dietary habits healthy. It is because genetic factor plays a role at the difficulty in reducing the level of cholesterol. If there is your family member who gets a high level of cholesterol, it will be better if you keep your dietary habits healthy from an early stage. Keep consuming foods that is able to increase the level of HDL such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel.

genetic-factors

Smoking

The next of what causes a low HDL is smoking. There are a lot of researches that prove that smoking does not give a good impact on the body. So, what is the influence of smoking to the level of HDL and LDL? The nicotine contained in cigarettes is able to increase the free fatty acids in your blood. Men who smoke 20 cigarettes a day decrease the level of their HDL by 11%, and women who smoke 20 cigarettes a day decrease it by 14%. Whereas, if the level of HDL decreases by only 5%, it will put you in a risk of getting heart attack disease for 25%.

By stopping to smoke cigarettes, you will be able to increase the level of HDL in your blood.

Stress

Stress is a part of life. But you need to know that prolonged life is able to damage the balance of body functions. Prolonged stress will increase the level of blood pressure so that it causes the increase of LDL and a decrease of HDL. If you cannot avoid stress, you just need to take care of your stress. You are able to do yoga or refreshing to take care of your stress. Make sure you are not stressing for a long time.

Drinking Coffee

Coffee is actually good for your heart, but it should not be drunk more than a glass for a day. The Medical School of Stanford University did research about the influence of coffee to the level of cholesterol. It is known that coffee is able to decrease the level of HDL and increase the level of LDL. The research shows that men who drink at least 2 cups a day have lower HDL compared to those who drink less than 1 cup a day or do not drink coffee at all. Another research shows that drinking coffee without filtering it first significantly reduces the level of HDL. That is why coffee included in one of what causes low HDL.