Sometimes I hear from patients a defeated attitude about heart disease because of their family history.
“My grandmother died of a heart attack and my mother has trouble, too. I know my genetics are against me. There is no point in living a healthy life style.”
On the contrary, a recent study looked at 55,000 people and examined both their genetics and their lifestyle to determine which contributed greater to heart disease.
What did they find?
The study showed that while having a genetic risk for heart disease can double the chances of getting the disease, a healthy lifestyle can cut your chances in half. If you have an exceedingly unhealthy lifestyle, the benefits of your good genes are cut in half.
The bottom line: lifestyle matters for preventing heart disease no matter your genetic makeup.
What kind of lifestyle will prevent heart disease?
Here are seven scientifically-proven courses of action to do your part in preventing heart disease.
A healthy diet in regards to heart disease means:
Take a look at a BMI calculator or ask your doctor or health coach to calculate it for you. The BMI isn’t an absolute indication of healthy weight, but it can help.
Health professionals recommend 30 minutes of physical activity for most days of the week. Brisk walking is an excellent exercise. Gardening or yard work can be exercise as well. If you have trouble with your knees or have other issues, a health coach can recommend an appropriate physical activity.
Smoking is tied to the constriction of the blood vessels and chemical plaque buildup from tobacco. This can lead to a heart attack.
The sooner you quit, the better! Although this may be difficult to do, a health coach can provide accountability for you as you quit. You can do it!
The Mayo Clinic recommends no more than one drink per day for women and men over 65; two per day for men under 65. One drink is defined as 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine, and 1.5 oz of spirits. Although you may have heard that some alcohol can be good for your heart, it is not recommended that you begin drinking if you do not already do so.
Get enough sleep
Adults need 7-9 hours. You can tell you have had enough sleep when you can wake up easily without an alarm clock. Make it easier on your body by picking a routine and sticking to it.
Overwhelming stress is often managed with unhealthy habits like overeating and smoking. A health coach can help you find healthy ways to manage the stress you have in your life.
Do you have a family history of heart disease? Are you ready to make lifestyle changes?
Schedule your free 30 minutes of health coaching today for a healthier tomorrow. Let’s do this!