4 Heart Disease Risk Factors and How to Avoid Them

Bill Magley is the owner and operator of Nature’s Fitness, an outdoor personal training center located in Stevensville, Michigan. The company provides personal training for individuals, teams and corporations in the outdoors. Bill recently received national recognition for his efforts in the fight against teenage obesity. You can contact Bill here or search for Nature’s Fitness on Facebook.

February is the month we celebrate Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month. This is a great time to assess matters of the heart, especially heart disease.

Risk factors for heart disease and cardiovascular illness are divided into two categories.

  • Lifestyle Issues: smoking, eating habits, and more
  • Genetic Issues: factors that predispose individuals to cardiovacular disease (CVD)

Here are some of the top heart disease health risks:

  • Do you smoke? Smoking increases the odds of developing CVD. If you currently are a smoker, quitting results in a 50% decrease in the risk of heart attack and the the odds of acquiring certain cancers.
  • Are you overweight? People who are overweight have a higher rate of CVD. The more you weigh, the harder your heart works.
  • Do you know your blood pressure? High blood pressure may be a genetic issue. Get yourself checked. Hypertension is also known as “the silent killer” and most people may not know they have it.
  • Are your cholesterol levels high? If you do not know the difference between your cholesterol numbers, you should talk to your health care provider. Educate yourself about the necessity of good fats in your diet and the fats that can cause harm.
  • Do your parents have either heart disease or diabetes?  If so, you are not alone. It is reported that 24 million Americans suffer with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. If left unchecked, diabetes increases the incidence of CVD. Learn the signs and symptoms of diabetes and get yourself checked.

Bottom line? Try to control the lifestyle factors that you can.

  • Reduce the fats and sugars in your diet
  • Get regular exercise
  • Find out if your family history reflects instances of CVD

Looking for the perfect gift for your loved ones this month? I believe that a clean bill of health is more valuable than flowers, gold, or diamonds.

Photo credit: Jasmin Cormier



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