The #1 cause of death in America, especially among senior citizens, is heart attacks. This is true whether that person is a man or woman, and these heart attacks are often fatal – life ending – and they are occurring at ever younger ages. How can a person reduce their chance of having a heart attack that will put their life in jeopardy or end their life? That is the subject of this week’s Health Tip. As we delve into the article I will share the five primary causes of heart attacks, and show that by eliminating these five causes we can greatly reduce the potential of ever having a heart attack.
Carrying excess weight is not only hard on the back and other organs of the body, but on the heart as well. Sadly, over 60% of our population is overweight. Dr. Crandall, in the August Issue of Dr. Chauncey Crandall’s “Heart Healthy Report” had the following to say about excess weight:
“Most of my patients lose weight, including the dangerous fat that collects around the abdomen, by following a plant-based diet.”
How To Shed Excess Weight
The Hallelujah Diet is the best weight loss program on planet earth, and if a person is overweight and desires to lose weight, it would be a good idea to get on the Hallelujah Diet. If they are already on the Hallelujah Diet, excess weight should not be a concern. A few years ago a gentleman reported losing 206 pounds in just ten months after adopting the Hallelujah Diet. Reports of weight losses of 30, 40, 50, and 60 pounds after adopting the Hallelujah Diet are common. For FREE help in getting rid of excess weight, click here.
The next step in reducing the risk of having a heart attack is developing a daily exercise program. A heart that is regularly stressed through daily exercise is more resilient and much less inclined to having a heart attack.
In my own life, daily aerobic exercise, in order to keep my heart strong, is high on my priority list, as well as my wife Rhonda’s daily priority list. We, on most days, put in at least four miles of power walking. This stresses and thus strengthens our hearts (as well as other muscles) on a regular basis, making our hearts more resilient and resistant to a heart attack.
Here’s How To Do It…
The easiest way to start a heart healthy exercise program is to just start walking.
Step one is to locate a measured mile. It may be around the block a certain number of times; a local school with a track that measures a ¼ mile; up and down the driveway a certain number of times; or in a mall. (A pedometer can help you know distances and keep track of how many miles you walk each day.)
After you have found a place to walk that measures a mile, time yourself as you walk that mile for the first time, at a comfortable pace. Suppose it took you 25 minutes the first time you walk that measured mile. Tomorrow, time yourself as you walk that same measured mile again, trying to walk a little faster than the day before.
Each day, walk that same measured mile, walking a little faster each day, until you can walk it in 15 minutes.
A 15-minute mile will usually get your heart beating in the aerobic range. Once you can walk a 15-minute mile, increase distance until you can walk 2 miles in 30 minutes. Then keep increasing your goal until you can walk 3 miles in 45 minutes, and finally, 4 miles in an hour.
Once you can walk 4 miles in an hour, daily walk that 4 miles and you will be well on your way to a stronger heart that will help resist a heart attack.
By the way, that daily walking program will also help you to burn calories that will help keep excess weight off or help prevent gaining additional weight.
Get Sufficient Sleep
Getting enough sleep on a regular basis is extremely important in keeping the body functioning properly and the heart strong.
Sleep time is a time when your body is throwing off toxins and recharging the body’s batteries, getting it ready for the next day’s activities.
Studies show that sleep deprivation not only leads to daytime weariness and accidents, but takes a toll on health as well – increasing the risk of heart disease and heart attack, as well as obesity and memory loss.
How Much Is Enough?
Sleep needs vary and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health. Thus it is important to determine how much sleep you need depending on lifestyle factors, quality and quantity of sleep, work schedule and stress level. It’s important to pay attention to your own individual needs by how you feel.
- Are you productive, healthy and happy on seven hours of sleep or do you need nine hours to keep you in high gear?
- Are you experiencing sleep problems?
- Do you depend on caffeine and sugar to get you through the day?
- Do you feel sleepy while driving?
These are questions you must ask yourself before you find the number of sleep hours that works for you.
Personally, it wasn’t too many years ago (I’m 80 years old now) that I was able to function well on six hours of sleep – I awoke well rested and ready for the new day.
Then as the years passed, I found that seven hours of sleep was necessary to awaken refreshed and ready for the new day.
Since turning 80 years old several months ago, I find that in order to awake refreshed and feeling ready for the new day, it requires eight hours of sleep. Presently I still work hard, exercise vigorously daily, and am ready for bed by 10:00 p.m. I do not beat myself up because my body needs more sleep now than it did in the past.
Everybody is different and sleep needs are different, especially depending on age. But I personally haven’t resisted getting more sleep as those senior years have become a reality in my life.
Stress raises heart disease risk. When you are under stress, your body produces unhealthy hormones that raise cholesterol levels and lead to the accumulation of abdominal fat.
Evidence is mounting that stress fuels inflammation which may initiate the coronary artery disease process.
How To Reduce Stress
Several of the things that keep your heart healthy into old age, are also excellent stress reducers. The most powerful stress reducer is a daily walking program. The second most powerful stress reducer is regular sound sleep.
Your daily exercise program and diet has a lot to do with how soundly you sleep and how fast you fall asleep.
What you eat has a lot to do with the health of your heart and your potential for experiencing a heart attack.
If you eat animal sourced foods on a regular basis, you are consuming a lot of animal fat. Some of this animal fat sloths off onto the artery wall and builds up, blocking the blood flow to your heart. This fat blockage is the cause of high blood pressure for which the doctor prescribes high blood pressure medication, this fat build up leads to blockages that require stents, and eventually by-pass surgery.
Eliminating animal source foods reduces potential for a heart attack or a stroke by some 96% according to John Robbins in his book, “Diet for a New America” For more information on a heart healthy diet, click here.
Dr. Chauncey Crandall in the August 2014 issue of his “Heart Health Report” had the following to say concerning diet:
“Everyone knows that eating fruits and vegetables is healthy, but how much of these healthy foods should you eat? A new study finds that eating at least seven portions a day could cut your risk of dying by 42 percent. “Study performed by researchers at the University of London, looked at the dietary habits of 65,226 people between 2001 and 2013, and found that the more fruit and vegetables they ate, the less likely they were to die at any age. “In terms of specific types of diseases, the researchers found that consuming these seven portions daily reduced the risk of dying from a heart disease by 31 percent and cancer by 25 percent, compared to people who ate less than one portion daily. “In addition, the more vegetables a person ate, the more their risk of dying drops.”
To a great extent, avoiding a heart attack is up to you and it is up to me.
Of course, if we have maintained a slim body, eat a vegan diet, and have a daily exercise program through our adult life, it should be a lot easier to continue that healthy and active lifestyle with a slim body into the senior years.
But don’t despair if you have not kept a slim body and an active lifestyle through your adult life, because if you are still alive, it is not too late to start making changes that will strengthen your heart and extend your life.
Galatians 6:7 has this to say regarding the subject:
“Be not decieved; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man (or woman) soweth, that shall he (or she) also reap.”
Where To Start
Re-read the five points shared earlier in this article and get started. These points are the key – get on a healthy diet, lose some weight, and start exercising.
I can’t tell you how much different you will feel after just a very short time if you will take these steps. Your body will start to slim down, your stress level will lesson, and you will begin to sleep more soundly.
And most important of all, your heart will begin to strengthen to help greatly reduce the potential for a heart attack.
Unless Jesus comes before we die we’re all going to die – but may our death not be from a heart attack or cancer or some other disease! My goal is to die from old age or to be taken at the rapture and never have to face physical death. Of course my preference is the rapture of which the Bible gives us a glimpse of how it will take place:
“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are ALIVE AND REMAIN UNTO THE COMING OF THE LORD shall not prevent them which are asleep (previously died). For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first (Christians who have previously died): THEN WE WHICH ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN SHALL BE CAUGHT UP together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and SO SHALL WE EVER BE WITH THE LORD. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” ~ I Thessalonians 4:15-18
Next week, the good Lord willing and if the creek doesn’t rise too high, we will return with another exciting issue of the Hallelujah Health Tip. Trust you will join us and that you will share these Health Tips with friends and loved ones.