Azimawellness foundational Talk 21/2019.
Know Thyself: Taking care of the heart
Of the 700 muscles in our body, the Cardiac Muscle plays the most critical role. Cardiac muscles are the muscles that make the heart. They contract and relax to push blood all over the body. As blood flows to and from the heart, it transports with it essential minerals, glucose , vitamins and above all oxygen.
These are ingredients required to keep the cells in optimal operation. If the heart stop beating, the person is pronounced dead. Period. This is why we have given it more focus in our articles .
Taking good care of the heart is to do those things that will ensure the heart remains healthy. Taking preventive measures. Remember Heart diseases are the No. 1 killer of humanity worldwide. Men are twice as likely to develop a heart disease compared to women. This is mainly because of the nature of men’s lifestyle . It predisposes men to higher risk factors such as smoking and high cholesterols food intake like “nyama choma” with little or no vegetables and beer .
Today come with me we examine the factors that cause heart diseases.
First lets look at the risk factors for Heart Disease.
Risk factors are particular habits, behaviors, circumstances or conditions that increases a person’s likelihood of developing a particular disease. Risk factors for heart disease falls under 2 categories. Major risk factors that cannot be changed. These include a person’s age, ethnicity and family history (genetics cannot be changed).
Modifiable risk factors are those that can be controlled with lifestyle adjustment and behavior change . Examples include dropping smoking, improved diet and adopting regular physical exercise.
Taking care of the heart!
Around the world , 17 million people die annually from heart diseases according to WHO. The UN global goal is to reduce by 25% Cardiovascular Disease mortality 2025. To achieve this goal require efforts to improve detection, treatment, and control of the predisposing factors.
The Pan African Society of Cardiology (PASCAR) is at the forefront in efforts to provide an appropriate response to cardiovascular epidemics in Africa through research, education, and advocacy.
Locally, Azima wellness is at the forefront championing behavior change that will reduce heart diseases. We actively disseminate useful information on what we can do to attain better health . Below are some examples of what we can do for better heart health .
a. Aim for healthy blood pressure and cholesterol numbers.
Keep the numbers balanced. A healthy blood pressure is considered to be less than 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, which is often expressed as “120 over 80” or “120/80 mm Hg.” Systolic is the measurement of pressure while the heart is contracting. Diastolic is the measurement when the heart is resting. Higher numbers indicate that the heart is working more to pump blood. This require intervention.
Eat a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables to lower the blood pressure.
b. Find ways to manage stress.
Your body produces a surge of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol when you're in a stressful situation. These hormones temporarily increase your blood pressure by causing your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow. Managing stress can also lower your risk for heart disease.
c. Embrace a healthier lifestyle
Eating healthy foods and exercising regularly are important in reducing blood pressure. Make sure to avoid foods high in saturated fat and salt. Salt makes your body hold on to water. If you eat too much salt, the extra water stored in your body raises your blood pressure. The higher your blood pressure, the greater the strain on your heart and arteries.
d. Quite smoking
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to improve your overall health and add years to your life. People who quit smoking generally live longer than people who continue to smoke.
The nicotine in cigarettes causes blood vessels to constrict, making it harder for oxygenated blood to circulate. This can lead to atherosclerosis-a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries.
e. Make sure to attend medical review appointments with your doctor.
Seeing your doctor regularly is just one lifestyle habit is helpful. If you do, many potential threats to your health can be detected early and reversed . Certain risk factors such as high blood pressure can be managed, controlled and reversed completely through lifestyle adjustment and behavior change to lower and eliminate the risk of heart disease. In Azima we advice on practical tips to:
i. quitting smoking
ii. controlling blood pressure
iii. keep exercising regularly
iv. maintain healthy cholesterol levels
v. lose weight if overweight and how to keep it away
vi. Eating a healthy diet
vii. Sleep at the right time and for adequate hours
viii. Hydrate the body with the right water and at the right timing and intervals
ix. Get adequate exposure to sunshine for vitamin D synthesis
x. Rest is part of wellness too. Many people overwork themselves to serious health consequences.
These and more are our contributions to what Thomas Edison predicted back in 1904
With Profound respect,
Coach Maina Azimio.
ICF- Accredited Certified Professional Coach,
Conference Speaker and Corporate Trainer in Wellness.
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