Reversing the Effects of Heart Disease
by: Andrew Bicknell
For many people who are suffering from the effects of heart disease making some simple lifestyle changes is all it takes to reverse what can become a deadly condition if left untreated. The sad fact is that many who do suffer this disease fail to take the necessary steps to reverse it effects, which for the most part are relatively easy compared to the complications it can cause. Maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system is key to preventing and/or reversing the effects of heart disease and the way to do that is through healthy lifestyle choices.
There are two changes that everyone with heart disease needs to make if they are to successfully mitigate its potential impact: a healthy diet and an exercise program.
Diet – The health and medical community have been telling people for years that eating a healthy diet is one of the best ways to reverse the effects of heart disease. The first step is to avoid fatty foods, particularly saturated fat. Saturated fat leads to high levels of LDL Cholesterol, known as the bad cholesterol. This type of cholesterol forms plaque in the artery walls which narrows and hardens the arteries. This can cause a blood clot which can block the artery stopping blood flow or it can break free and cause a heart attack or stroke.
The best diet is a low fat diet that includes a good amount of foods high in fiber such as fruits and vegetables. Eat only lean cuts of meat and stick with low fat dairy products to avoid rising cholesterol levels. Even with information such as this the rate of heart disease in the United States remains high because many people simply do not follow this simple dietary advice.
Exercise – Your heart is a muscle and the only way to strengthen it is with exercise. Your heart becomes more efficient and doesn't have to work as hard when it is strong. The best type of exercise is some form of cardiovascular or aerobic exercise such as walking. In fact walking is a good way to get started as it allows your heart and the rest of your cardiovascular system get used to your body's new activity level. As you get stronger you can add more strenuous exercises like jogging, biking, swimming and weight lifting, or whatever form of exercise you may enjoy.
There is one other thing you can accomplish if you follow this type of plan. You can lose weight, which is a large risk for heart disease. Not only will your overall health be better but you will feel better about how you look and how you feel.
Reversing the effects of heart disease is relatively easy if you make the effort. Take little steps and before you know it you will be living a healthier lifestyle that will stick with you for the rest of your long life.
Oh, one other thing, if you smoke, stop! It's that simple!
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