A Healthy Heart is a Happy Life

A Healthy Heart is a Happy Life
By: Lauren Zager

Imagine a health 44-year-old man who exercises daily, has a wife and two kids, and goes to the doctor regularly, as he should. Everything is normal, until one day while driving he has a heart attack and swerves off the road. Nothing appeared to be wrong, but internally there was a lot going on. He was a father that was involved with the local baseball community. His son who played on one of the teams, was supposed to drive home with him, but caught a ride with one of his friends instead. Coming home to news that can change your life so quickly had to be devastating. Knowing that a healthy 44-year old can have a heart attack is alarming. That is why it is important to be aware of how you treat your body, physically and mentally.
Walking, jogging, and going on a bike ride – all of these things build a strong and healthy heart. Exercise is an active part of my family life.

Without it, we would be recognized as what America calls “couch potatoes.” Even though exercise is a key component in keeping a healthy heart, you cannot eat unhealthy foods and expect the exercise to cancel out the negative factors. My family is very active, but the stubbornness that is displayed with not going to doctor appointments or taking medicine for high cholesterol, are risk factors. My dad was diagnosed with high cholesterol and has had to watch what he eats, exercise and take medications. What is high cholesterol? Over a number of years, extra cholesterol and fat build up along the wall of your arteries, eventually it reduces the amount of blood flowing to the heart. Blood flow into the heart is vital because it provides oxygen to your heart. When your heart is not receiving enough oxygen that is when you will start experiencing chest pain. If you experience chest pain do not ignore it, go see a doctor immediatley. If heart problems or chest pain are ignored blood flow could completely be cut off from your heart and that is when you will experience a heart attack. Cutting back on foods that contain saturated fats and cholesterol is the key to avoiding high cholesterol. In that case, a good step would be to start eating less red meat and more fish.

Other risk factors of heart disease are smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. These are all factors that you can choose to eliminate. Some actions that you could take to prevent these risk factors are, stop smoking, eat healthy, exercise, get support, losing weight, etc. However, even if you do take the steps to prevent risk factors there are still other causes of heart disease. Stress is one of the biggest issues when it comes to heart disease. When a person is stressed, it may trigger an attack. Learning how to control your stress is important in keeping a healthy heart.

Overall, to prevent heart disease you need to be healthy, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Get up and go out! Take a walk, and exercise to keep your stress levels down. Become aware of what you put into your body, make it a family affair, and get everyone around you to eat healthy. Do what your doctor says, if he says you need to lose weight, take the steps you need to lose it. Remember a health heart is a happy life.