When talking about heart conditions, doctors use the terms coronary heart disease (CHD) and the broader cardiovascular disease (CVD).
CHD is used for any condition that affects heart function. CVD refers to both coronary heart disease and diseases of the circulation, such as stroke , when a clot blocks blood supply to the brain. Stroke is the country’s third biggest killer, claiming 70,000 lives each year. Most doctors now prefer to use the term CVD because it’s the major cause of premature death in the UK, causing around 32 per cent of premature deaths in men and 28 per cent in women.
One person in Britain dies from heart disease every three minutes – making us one of the world’s worst countries for this problem.
Types of Heart Disease
*Congenital Heart Disease
Heart problems, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease often emerge as your heart adjusts to aging. The good news? You can do a lot to control and sometimes reverse these conditions by making lifestyle changes in your life. Here are creative things you can do that will not only help your condition but give you more energy so you can feel better and live longer.
Exercise can help lower your biological age.
Your heart is a muscle and it needs its exercise or it will grow soft and flabby. Getting started in exercise — especially if you aren’t at your peak form right now — can be mentally and physically challenging.
First, talk with your doctor and get specific guidelines for how much exercise you should do, and how to recognize the signs of overexertion.
Next, find a gym that has personal trainers. The trainer can help make sure that your efforts are going to pay off, and that you are doing the exercises correctly.
Hire a Registered Dietitian or Nutritionist
You will probably only need one or two consultations with a dietitian to learn volumes about what you are eating, what you should be eating and why. To get the most out of your visit, bring two or three days of food logs with you. A food log is simply a record of everything you eat or drink in a day, the times you ate or drank it and the amounts. This will help the nutritionist tailor a program to your life.
Banish Your Food Enemies
We all have food enemies. Maybe yours are cookies, ice cream, chips or candy? If you can’t avoid temptation, banish these items from your house, your car, and your office, and avoid eating them on a regular basis.
Relax a Little
Stress constricts your blood vessels, and this makes it harder for your heart to pump blood through your body. Relax, let the events of the day wash over you and consider earning relaxation breathing. When something bothers you, try to keep the big picture in mind: Ask yourself, will the stress triggers matter five years from now? Will you even remember them?
Smiling does all sorts of good for your body. You can actually trick your body and mind into being happy by smiling. Put a smile on your face while standing in line, driving or writing e-mails: You’ll be amazed at the change. Practice by smiling every time you look at a clock. This will add hundreds of smiles to your day!
Learn to Cook
Have you ever been amazed by restaurants? You can walk in, order any one of 70 items off a menu and a few minutes later your meal arrives warm and delicious. It is like a miracle. And the name of that miracle is butter. Restaurants use fats and butter to cover up so-so ingredients, over warming and other sins of necessity. By learning to cook and eating at home, you can be in control of your food. Use fresh ingredients and take some cooking classes.
Monitor and Record
Keeping important information at your fingertip can help your doctors plan the best medical care for you. Monitor your blood pressure weekly, keep your test results in a folder for easy access. Have your cholesterol tested every few months. Keep track of your medical information. Know what medications you are on, who your doctors are and what your medical goals are.
Take Your Medicine
If you doctor has prescribed medicine for you, take it. Figure out what you need to do to to be 100 percent compliant with your doctor’s orders. That means taking your medicine at the right times and following the suggestions. There are some really excellent medications on the market now that have helped millions of people avoid heart attacks and other problems.
Nurture Your Relationships
People with health conditions fare better if they have strong social relationships. Your spouse, friends or family members can be there to help you overcome challenges, make lifestyle changes and assist you if you are ill.
It has also been shown that having close relationships can help reduce stress and improve healing. So, take a second honeymoon, go on a buddy fishing trip, or have a spa day with someone you care about.
Life is good. Celebrate the progress you make in creating a healthier you, instead of getting caught in routines and ruts that eat away your days. Carving out time for pleasurable activities can boost your heart health.