Keeping a Healthy Heart

A few weeks ago, my family had a health scare. My uncle was having some chest pains and my aunt took him to the emergency room. It turns out he had a mild heart attack. The good news according to the doctor was that this was only a warning to him. My uncle has not had the best eating and exercise habits, and the doctor is telling him that this needs to change.

For many years my aunt has been nagging him to watch what he eats and that he needs to get some exercise. Unfortunately, Uncle Carl has not listened to Aunt Margaret and is now in the situation in which he finds himself. The good news is it is not too late for my uncle. With the right diet and exercise routine he should be able to at least stabilize his heart situation and hopefully improve it.

“Heart With Muscle Damage and a Blocked Artery” by National Institutes of Health (NIH) is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

My aunt is very shaken by this situation and has been struggling to know how to help my uncle. I can understand her frustration and anxiety, and my mom has volunteered me to help out. I’ve been talking with my aunt and uncle about what they can do to help with the situation. I’m hoping the information and support that I can provide will help my uncle improve his heart health and provide guidance on how my aunt can help.

Over time I have come across some interesting websites that deal with heart health problems. I have found sites that talk about how to prevent having heart problems, maintaining existing health and how to improve your heart. Most of them deal with important subjects such as how to eat properly and how to get moderate exercise. These are areas that can help people be heart healthy.

In today’s fast paced society people tend to gravitate towards fast food for meals. While an occasional burger and fries will not harm you, this is the type of food that can cause problems if eaten too often. People that eat foods that are high in saturated fat can find themselves on the road to heart disease. Food such as pork, beef, lamb, and the skin of poultry are all foods that have saturated fat. Saturated fat is also present in lard, butter, cheese, 2-percent milk and whole milk.

Also, people that are obese have a higher chance of having heart disease. In addition, they run the risk of other health issues such as Type 2 Diabetes and High Blood Pressure. Establishing proper eating habits are essential to fighting obesity and having a proper diet. Avoiding foods that are high in saturated fat is the first step to eating right. Another step would be to follow a diet with foods that are lower in saturated fat. Skinless chicken, fish and similar foods are ideal. Also, meals that contain fruits and vegetables will get you to the goal you are seeking.

The other part of living a heart healthy lifestyle is to get exercise. Today people spend a lot of time sitting around either in the car, office or at home. To combat that, people should get up and get moving during the day. At the office, get up from your desk every hour or two. Even a five-minute walk will help get you moving and provide a little exercise. At home you should try to find some time to exercise. If you can’t go to the gym, getting outside to take a walk will help.

If you are interested, here are a few websites that I found to be helpful in learning about heart health. I have passed these along to my aunt, and they seem to be helping Uncle Carl!

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