As a Naturopathic Physician, prevention is what I preach to my patients. Thankfully, the American Heart Association (AHA) is now focusing more on the prevention of cardiovascular health rather than the disease, according to its end of year report.
The reason for this is the leveling off of cardiovascular disease mortality (instead of a continued decline). Additionally, 25 percent of men and 20 percent of women still smoke which is a huge risk factor for your heart as well as the obesity rates which are rising out of control.
According to the report, 33.6 percent of American adults have high blood pressure (hypertension), 32.9 percent are obese, 29 percent are pre-diabetic, and 7.7 percent have progressed to full blown diabetes.
Sadly, the AHA also has to focus heavily on children as 31.9 percent of kids aged 2 to 19 years are overweight or obese. This, of course, can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, and diabetes.
The report goes on to report that 2/3 of American adults don’t exercise! I am not surprised as many of my patients are looking to lose weight, yet when I ask about their exercise habits they either stare at me blankly or embarrassed. As I tell people, just get moving off of your rear for 30 minutes most days of the week. You don’t have to spend the money and join a gym, but get your heart-rate up by walking briskly around your neighborhood or buy an exercise DVD.
Thankfully, the lead author, Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones reports, “There's really a shift happening to focus on keeping people in that optimally healthy state, with good cholesterol, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, not smoking, and pursuing the kinds of lifestyles that will keep them that way.”
As a prevention advocate, I ask you not to be a statistic and take care of yourself and your health.