World Heart Day: Time To Know Your Health Scale

Increase Awareness to Prevent Heart Disease

Do you know how healthy your heart is? In this modern world, people rarely have time to concentrate on their health. Obesity, unhealthy diet, high blood pressure, cholesterol, bad sugar levels and lack of exercise are some of the main causes for heart disease. Since World Heart Day is fast approaching, it is high time to make changes to our lifestyle and educate people about heart disease and ways to prevent it. Here are some easy and simple ways to do that:

Quit Smoking

In the United States, almost one in every five people die each year because of smoking. The chemicals in tobacco smoke not only damage blood cells, but also weaken the function of your heart and blood vessels. If you are a smoker, the best thing to do is to quit right away.

Physical Activity

Keep your body fit by doing regular exercise. Simple physical activities such as walking, running or swimming increase skeletal muscle strength. This also helps reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels to prevent heart disease. Make it a habit and spare at least 30 minutes of your day.

Avoid Obesity

Nearly 70% of all Americans are overweight. This leads to developing health problems such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and more. Hence it is a must to maintain a healthy weight. You should check with a BMI calculator at least once a year. If you are overweight, take precautionary measures like eating fewer calories than your body needs and doing aerobic exercise for 30 minutes daily.

Healthy Food Habits

Take plenty of fibrous foods such as whole-grain cereals, potatoes, and bran to help you lower the risk of heart disease. Avoid fat products. Eat more of fruits and vegetables – they are a good source of fibers, vitamins and minerals. Reduce salt as much as possible in your foods to maintain your blood pressure and sugar level under control. Include fish in your meals at least twice a week. While shopping, keep track of the calories mentioned on the food and drink labels. It is always good to know how much fat, salt and sugar the product contains. This will help you choose a diet with less calories.

Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol contains more calories. Drinking regularly and over a long period of time, can increase your blood pressure which is the main cause of heart disease. It also weakens the heart muscle, and this can lead to heart failure.

Periodical Heart Check-ups

It is important to do periodical heart check-ups like ECG and Echo tests even if you do not have health problems.

Organize Awareness Campaigns

September 29th is an important day for raising heart-health awareness. Many health organizations host events across the country to create awareness and to prevent heart disease.

You can also host campaigns in your local community and ask health care professionals, dietician and the general public participate. Arrange a group discussion where people can share their views about heart disea

Increase Awareness to Prevent Heart Disease

Do you know how healthy your heart is? In this modern world, people rarely have time to concentrate on their health. Obesity, unhealthy diet, high blood pressure, cholesterol, bad sugar levels and lack of exercise are some of the main causes for heart disease. Since World Heart Day is fast approaching, it is high time to make changes to our lifestyle and educate people about heart disease and ways to prevent it. Here are some easy and simple ways to do that:

Quit Smoking

In the United States, almost one in every five people die each year because of smoking. The chemicals in tobacco smoke not only damage blood cells, but also weaken the function of your heart and blood vessels. If you are a smoker, the best thing to do is to quit right away.

Physical Activity

Keep your body fit by doing regular exercise. Simple physical activities such as walking, running or swimming increase skeletal muscle strength. This also helps reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels to prevent heart disease. Make it a habit and spare at least 30 minutes of your day.

Avoid Obesity

Nearly 70% of all Americans are overweight. This leads to developing health problems such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and more. Hence it is a must to maintain a healthy weight. You should check with a BMI calculator at least once a year. If you are overweight, take precautionary measures like eating fewer calories than your body needs and doing aerobic exercise for 30 minutes daily.

Healthy Food Habits

Take plenty of fibrous foods such as whole-grain cereals, potatoes, and bran to help you lower the risk of heart disease. Avoid fat products. Eat more of fruits and vegetables – they are a good source of fibers, vitamins and minerals. Reduce salt as much as possible in your foods to maintain your blood pressure and sugar level under control. Include fish in your meals at least twice a week. While shopping, keep track of the calories mentioned on the food and drink labels. It is always good to know how much fat, salt and sugar the product contains. This will help you choose a diet with less calories.

Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol contains more calories. Drinking regularly and over a long period of time, can increase your blood pressure which is the main cause of heart disease. It also weakens the heart muscle, and this can lead to heart failure.

Periodical Heart Check-ups

It is important to do periodical heart check-ups like ECG and Echo tests even if you do not have health problems.

Organize Awareness Campaigns

September 29th is an important day for raising heart-health awareness. Many health organizations host events across the country to create awareness and to prevent heart disease.

You can also host campaigns in your local community and ask health care professionals, dietician and the general public participate. Arrange a group discussion where people can share their views about heart diseases, preventive measures that need to be adopted and the necessity to change unhealthy lifestyle. You can surprise the participants with cool and exciting gifts. Because they are quite popular and versatile, you can go with customized silicone wristbands. These products are trendy, cost-effective, fashionable and easily customizable. You can get them online and choose from a variety of types, colors, fonts, sizes and styles. Customizing your wristbands with messages like “Follow Healthy Habits” or “Do Regular Heart Check-ups” is a useful option to promote public awareness.

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ses, preventive measures that need to be adopted and the necessity to change unhealthy lifestyle. You can surprise the participants with cool and exciting gifts. Because they are quite popular and versatile, you can go with customized silicone wristbands. These products are trendy, cost-effective, fashionable and easily customizable. You can get them online and choose from a variety of types, colors, fonts, sizes and styles. Customizing your wristbands with messages like “Follow Healthy Habits” or “Do Regular Heart Check-ups” is a useful option to promote public awareness.

What Triggers a Heart Attack?

THE FOLLOWING RISK FACTORS MAY TRIGGER A HEART ATTACK:

  • Smoking: Did you know that nicotine and carbon monoxide put a lot of stress on the heart by forcing it to work faster? This, in turn, accelerates the risk of blood clots. Besides, the presence of different chemicals in the smoke injures the lining of your coronary arteries. It is estimated that smoking can enhance heart risk by 24 percent.
  • High blood pressure: Hypertension tends to deteriorate the coronary arteries, thus making them absolutely vulnerable to coronary heart disease. Hence, a person with high blood pressure is at a high risk of attacks and coronary heart disease.
  • Diabetes: When blood glucose levels associated with type 1 and type 2 diabetes increases, there is a certain amount of damage to the victim’s coronary arteries. As a result, the risk of coronary heart disease increases.
  • Obesity: People who are obese or are highly overweight may not be directly at risk of an attack, but they are at a greater risk of developing hypertension and diabetes. Overweight individuals also tend to have high cholesterol level that results from eating fat-rich diet.
  • Alcohol: Uncontrolled consumption of alcohol can develop high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, thus augmenting the risk of coronary heart disease. Also, heavy drinkers tend to follow unhealthy lifestyles such as physical inactivity, consumption of high fat-diet and smoking.
  • Family history: If you have an immediate relative with a history of heart attack, then your chances of getting a stroke or attack doubles up in comparison to the general population with no immediate family history of an attack.
  • Age and Sex: With age comes greater risk of an attack and coronary heart disease. In addition, research suggests that men are at a greater risk of suffering from an attack than their female counterparts.
  • Intense outbursts of anger: Sudden and intense bouts of anger may also trigger a heart attack. In fact, it is estimated that there is an 8.5 times more tendency for a heart attack to occur within the initial two hours of an anger outburst.
  • Cold climate: Colder temperatures may constrict the arteries. This, in turn, raises the blood pressure, which is again a factor that may trigger a heart attack.
  • Miscellaneous factors: Acute anxiety and strenuous physical exercise may sometimes increase the pace at which the heart beats and the blood flow in the arteries. This may trigger a heart attack in rare cases. In addition, high binge of excessive junk food can escalate cholesterol levels in your arteries that eventually increase your heart rate, culminating into a heart attack.

How Stress Can Break Your Heart

Most of us heard about the relationship between diet and heart disease. We know that too much cholesterol and fat in the body can trigger a heart attack. What about unhappy thoughts, stress and the feeling that life is going against you? Does your thinking affect your heart’s health?

Put your left fist, thumb on top, up to your breast bone, slightly to the left of the centre. Squeeze your fist hard and rhythmically. Your heart beats like this, some 100,000 times a day pumping about four quarts of blood through your body minute (and much more when you are stressed or are exercising)

Put your fist back up against your breast bone, thumb up. Squeeze it as hard as you can, again and again. Imagine doing this all day long, year after year, for a lifetime.

Oxygen is not the only vital substance that the heart pumps through the body. Hormones secreted by the pituitary gland, by the adrenal glands, by the thyroid, and by other glands are carried to every cell in the body. So are the products of digestion, such as glucose, vitamins and enzymes.

Blood does not randomly flow through the body, of course. It flows systematically through a seemingly endless series of arteries and veins. When oxygen enriched blood leaves the heart, it flows through large arteries and smaller arteries, and then through the very small arterioles. The arterioles give way t the tiny capillaries. Only when the blood has reached capillaries does it exchange its oxygen for carbon dioxide. At this point, the blood begins its journey back to the heart. For capillaries to venules to veins, the blood flows through ever widening pipes back to the heart.

The arterial vessels carrying freshly oxygenated blood from the heart can be viewed as life giver in this ital exchange; they bring oxygen, nutrients,, hormones and other substances to the body’s tissues. The veins guiding the “used” blood back to the heart can be viewed as the garbage disposal part of the system.

The Simple Formula

In medical school, doctors learn a simple formula: blood Pressure = Cardiac output x arterial Resistance. This means that your blood pressure level depends on how much blood the heart pumps per unit of time (cardiac output) and how difficult it is for the blood to move through the “pipes” (arterial resistance).

If your heart starts beating faster than normal, its output has increased. And greater cardiac output means increased blood pressure. Your heart is trying to move the blood through the “pipes” faster, and much work harder to do so. When it does this, your blood pressure increases.

When you exercise, your cardiac output and your blood pressure increase. In a young, healthy person, this increase is nothing to worry about. Eventually, the arteries relax, expand in size, and your blood pressure drops to normal.

But stress can also increase your cardiac output; it can make your heart beat harder and faster. In fact, stress may be a major cause of elevated blood pressure. When we are stressed, we may feel like nothing is going right, like we’re going to blow the big job, like we’re always behind. We feel that people are standing in your way, or we’re upset about being caught in traffic. When we’re stressed, the brain stimulates the sympathetic nervous system. In turn, the sympathetic nervous system prompts the adrenal medulla (the inside part of the adrenal glands) to pump out adrenaline like substances. This is turning increases the heart rate, and the strength of the beat. In other words, your thought alone can lead to increased cardiac output, which leads to higher blood pressure.

There’s a certain part of the brain, the hypothalamus, which we call the “pilot” of the brain because it controls so many body processes. The hypothalamus sits right above the pituitary gland. When the hypothalamus “reads” your negative thoughts and other signs of stress, it tells the pituitary to release a hormone called ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone). ACTH then flows to the adrenal glands, where it directs them to release a number of hormones including some 42 varieties of cortisone. Amount other things; these hormones cause your body to retain salt and water. More fluid in the bloodstream means more work for the heart.

When stress is chronic, the blood vessels constrict (“tighten up”). Remember the equation, Blood Pressure = Cardiac output x Arterial Resistance? When the “pipes” get smaller, it’s harder for the blood flow thought them. Arterial resistance is increased, which means blood pressure goes up. Additionally, chronic stress changes the chemistry of the blood, making it more likely to clot. This means there’s great chance that a clot will form and lodge in a narrow artery in the heart, and cause heart attack; or it may lodge in the brain and lead to a stroke.

Having some stress in our lives is probably all right and may be helpful if it prompts us to action. Chronic stress, however, is hard on the heart.

Blood pressure = Cardiac Output x Arterial Resistance. It’s a simple formula. If you keep your heart working at normal speed and strength, if the resistance to the flow of blood through the arteries remains normal, everything will be fine. But if stress sets in motion the series of events that kicks your heart into high gear, and causes fluid retention and contracted arteries, your blood pressure will go up.

Cholesterol and Stress

Put your fist back up to your chest. Look down at the back of your fist. See the veins that are just beneath the skin? Imagine that these are your coronary arteries that supply fresh, oxygen rich blood to the heart muscle. Some of these vital arteries are only as wide as the tip of a pencil.

Let’s suppose that you’ve been eating a high fat, cholesterol rich diet and that some of your coronary arteries have narrowed not fatally so: a 50 percent blockage in this artery, a 60 or 75 percent narrowing in that. You can do reasonably well these kinds of blockages, unless stress causes cholesterol levels in the body to rise. Many studies have verified the relationship between stress and elevated cholesterol. If you throw people into ice cold water, their cholesterol will rise. If you threaten them, tell they’re going be fired, or tell them that they must take a difficult test, their cholesterol will go up.

Stress and elevated cholesterol are intimately related. Chronic anger, fear, “hurry-itis”, feelings that you are a failure, that life is out to get you; these thoughts increase blood pressure and cholesterol. Such thoughts can shorten your life. Cholesterol is more likely to be normal in people who have a positive, cheerful, confident, outlook on life.

Stress in the workplace

Work can be major source of stress. Specialists in the field of work induced disability now know that certain jobs are inherently stressful. Police work and fire fighting, for example, are highly stressful jobs; other kinds of work can also be stressful. Whether we are factory workers, clerks, attorneys, or chairmen of major companies, we often find ourselves under tremendous stress at work, on the way to work, and at home when we’re thinking about work.

For most of us, work related stress falls into two categories work overload and role conflict.

Work Overload: There are two types of work overload: Quantitative or qualitative. Quantitative work overload has to be with numbers: too many things to do in the day, too many thin phone calls to makes, too many orders to fill, too many boards to nail, too many clients to see. Too many things to do, in too little time. How often they are rushing around at work, trying to get everything done, but never quite succeeding? What is this doing to your heart, your body chemistry, your peace of mind and your health?

Qualitative work overload, on the other hand, has to do with standards that you cannot meet. You are called upon to perform beyond your ability. This happens when people are improperly trained. Or, you may be well qualified for one job, but find yourself promoted or transferred to a job that you aren’t as skilled at. The stress and frustration of trying to perform a different kind of work or to perform at higher levels, lead to work overload, mental distress and often physical disease.

It doesn’t take much overload to damage the heart. A study in the April edition of The New England Journal of Medicine reported on patients with coronary artery disease. The patients were asked to perform mental arithmetic, to complete a certain color word task, to give a speech, and to read aloud. The stress from these everyday tasks was enough to cause well motion abnormalities in many of the patients. (Wall motion abnormalities have to do with the way the heart muscle squeezes to pump blood).

Quantitative or qualitative work overload causes definite biochemical changes in the body, especially with respect to cholesterol levels. Many studies have shown the relationship between work overload and heart attacks, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and other potentially fatal disorders.

Role Conflict: Role conflict occurs when two or more pressures are in conflict with one another. It generates stress that causes mental distress, and man lead to actual physical disease. Research has shown that long tern role conflict leads certain people to experience high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and other medical problems.

Release valve

The steam engine is a marvelous invention. Coal is burned in the engine, a steam forms and the steam is used to activate the turbines. Seam engines do a lot of work, and they all have a safety valve, just in case too much steam builds up inside the engine. It’s a great idea: let off the excess steam rather than risk damaging the machinery.

In our houses, stores, office buildings and factories, all the electrical circuits have build in circuit breakers or fuses. When there is an electrical overload, the fuses automatically blow, putting an immediate end to the overload before it can cause any damage.

It would be nice if we had a safety valve that let off excess and inappropriate stress. We don’t have a safety valve, but our bodies give us warning signals when trouble is brewing, when we are overloaded, or in conflict. The warnings may be seemingly minor problems such as headaches, neck ache, backaches or, the waning may be in form of heaviness in the chest, heart palpitations, or high blood pressure. The latter are more serious warnings, and must b corrected right away. Unfortunately, we don’t have a safety valve, and sometimes our warnings come too late. We should reduce the stress n our lives before these warning signals occur.

Healthy Thoughts, Healthy Heart

Every year thousands of peoples have a heart attack. Although some survive, for others a fatal heart attack was their only warning that anything was wrong. Since stress is so intimately related for ways to keep our stress level as low as possible.

Some stressors can be dealt with easily; we can change our diet and stop smoking, for example. And we can take nutrients that help protect us against the effects of environmental pollution and chemicals in our foods. But what can we do about traffic, work overload and the like? What if we can’t find a new job, or move to a city where there is little traffic? How do we handle the stress?

We learn a lesson from Epictetus, The Roman Philosopher (A.D. 55-135) who said: “I am upset not by events, but rather by the way I view them.”

With the single statement, Epictetus gave us a “medicine” for many of our ills. If we can’t eliminate every stressor in our lives, we can change our attitudes. May be we have to take a major highway to work, and maybe it’s always crowded. We can’t change the traffic, but we can learn t change our thoughts about the traffic. You see, alone control your thoughts. You, and only you, determine what your thoughts will b, whether positive or negative.

You have absolute control over your thoughts, and every thought in your head influence your body, your immune system, and your health. Beat “thought disease” by changing you thoughts. Remember that stress and your thoughts have a profound influence on your heart. Your stomach isn’t the only thing tied in knots by stress. Help your heart by keeping your thoughts as healthy, positive, happy, and optimistic as possible. Even when things are going wrong, even if you are overloaded at work, fill your mind with healthy thoughts. Your healthy thoughts may not change your unhappy work situation, but they will most certainly help protect your heart from the ravages of stress.

We ‘humans’ have got the life a billion years ago. There have been five mass extinctions in earth’s history. We are living through the sixth. And now we too are running at a pace to end it all. This time it will be our fault.

The new discoveries and inventions have made our lifestyle full of convenience. But our bodies require work. Just like the sedentary water starts smelling, the sedentary lifestyle has given rise to many chronic diseases like the heart problems, diabetes and hypertension.

Today, the health researchers are suggesting that most of the chronic diseases that have appeared in man’s life are due to STRESS. From where it has come. It is the bi-product of our so-called modern lifestyle.

We are standing at the edge of cliff. Immediate actions are required to bring back the healthy days. We must incorporate exercise, balanced diet, sound sleep, and the most importantly happy and positive thoughts to our lifestyle to get rid of all health problems.

I believe “The opposite of great truth is also true.”

Day and Night, Work and Rest, Art and Science… they all looks opposite but my viewpoint is they compliment each other.

The more you relax, the more you active. Life is a balance between what we can and what we cannot. Learn to live between effort and surrender.