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Healthy Heart: What is Heart Disease? Preventive Steps and Recognizing Symptoms

February 6, 2017

Wellness encompasses a healthy body, a sound mind, and a tranquil spirit. Enjoy the journey as you strive for wellness

Laurette Gagnon Beaulieu

What Is A Heart Disease?

Heart disease is a blanket term used to refer to coronary disease. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a broad term encompassing diseases of the heart and blood vessels, including:

  • Heart attack
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Congestive heart failure and
  • Stroke

Because CVD is the number-one killer of both men and women worldwide, identifying risk factors and prevention strategies for CVD are important steps toward avoiding health problems.

Preventing Heart Disease

Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention Program banner from Cenegenics

In adults, heart disease causes 25% of all deaths in the United States each year. While some genetic factors can lead many of us to a predisposition toward heart disease, there are several lifestyle choices and patterns of behavior that can greatly increase your risk.

Of the critical risk factors that can contribute to the development of heart disease over the course of your life, the top four are:

  1. High cholesterol
  2. High blood pressure
  3. Smoking
  4. Chronic inflammation

Secondary factors that can impact the health of your blood vessels include:

  1. Obesity
  2. Poor nutrition
  3. Inactivity
  4. Excessive alcohol intake
  5. Diabetes

If you’ve already been diagnosed with heart disease, there are many factors you can address to reduce your risk of a heart attack.

Reducing Your Risk of Heart Attack

Arterial damage doesn’t mean that you are doomed to a heart attack in the future, but it does mean that preventing heart attack will need to become a focus of your daily habits if you want to improve your coronary future. The American Heart Association offers a thorough checklist of changes after your first heart attack, but there’s no reason you can’t implement them earlier!

  1. Quit smoking. Contact your physician for any medications you can safely take to help you reduce withdrawal pangs. Build a new habit to replace the time you spent smoking.
  2. Move more. Start small by parking further from the store, or taking one flight of stairs instead of the elevator.
  3. Manage your current illnesses obsessively. Don’t let diabetes or high blood pressure get out of control.
  4. Find ways to de-stress. This may mean playing with kittens at the Humane Society or taking a painting class. Feed your inner child!

Stopping Heart Disease

In addition to the four steps listed above, making a change in our diet can reduce your risk of a major cardiac event in the future. Increasing dietary fiber by increasing your consumption of fruit, vegetables, and unrefined whole grains may lessen the risk of future arterial damage and increase your chance of long-term coronary health. While switching to a vegan diet may be too large a jump for some, a Mediterranean-style diet is an easier (and delicious) change.

Get Tested

If you have a family history of heart disease, detailed testing of your current cardiac condition and personal genetic risk are critical, both for yourself and your offspring. By studying your current condition, future risks and corrective options now, you can plan for a future of bountiful health.Cenegenics offers a Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program for current and new clients. Visit Cenegenics.com and sign up for your complimentary consultation.

Next Steps to Preventing Heart Disease

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About the Contributor

Rudy Inaba Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise

Rudy Inaba is Cenegenics’ Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise. He is a recognized fitness and sports nutrition consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in clinical exercise physiology and lifestyle management. After pursuing his Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Rudy joined Cenegenics where he leads 20 clinical locations nationwide in their advancements in kinesiology, nutritional biochemistry, and their analyses of industry research & market trending.

Additional Resources

How to Lower Cholesterol Levels With These Easy Lifestyle Changes

HDL Cholesterol | Everything You Need to Know

What Is LDL Cholesterol & How Can You Control Yours?

The Main Causes of High Cholesterol | Road Map to a Heart Attack

What is the Carotid Intima-Media Thickness Test?

Causes of High Blood Pressure: How to Prevent Hypertension

The Link Between Chronic Inflammation & Deadly Diseases

More Than 800,000 Americans Suffer From Heart Disease Every Year. Learn The Symptoms Here: