The American Heart Association has citied that the primary cause of heart attack stems from inappropriate nutrition, low levels of activity, high levels of stress and smoking. These result in high blood pressure, diabetes and high blood cholesterols, which lead to a heart attack. Dr. Christian Barnard, credited with doing the first human transplant surgery in 1967, spent the latter years of his life preaching lifestyle change to avoid heart attacks. In this article, I compile some of his tips taken from several of his books, on how to have a healthy heart.
1 Eat in moderation. Stop eating while you are still hungry.
2 Diets depress and irritate you. Dieting often leads to nutrient deficiencies.
3 Weight reductions cannot happen without exercise activity – it is always long term.
4 More important than weight loss, is fat loss.
5 Don’t deny yourself the foods you like. Just eat them less often.
6 Have soup before a meal. You will then eat less. Eat less, but more often. This increases metabolism.
7 Fish meat contains omega fatty acids. These are good for the heart.
8 Eat fresh vegetables and fruits daily. Refrigerated vegetables lose between 50 to 60 percent of their nutrients.
9 Fruits and vegetables eaten daily lower the risk of cancer and heart attacks, while protecting against illness and infection.
10 The secret of a Mediterranean diet is lots of fruit, vegetables, wine, olive oil, activity and a stress-free life.
11 Eat balanced meals. Eat only if hungry. Do not snack.
12 Don’t reuse cooking oils.
13 Don’t get too worked up if your cholesterol levels are slightly high. Smoking and being overweight is probably worse than having moderately high cholesterol.
14 Garlic, fish, wine and exercise are weapons against cholesterol.
15 Tomatoes, lemon, spinach, carrots, broccoli, onions and garlic reduce cholesterol and fight free radicals damage. A mixture of a fruit and vegetable juice will give you the antioxidants you need to rid your body of free radicals and toxins.
16 You must have a multi-vitamin and multi-mineral pill daily.
17 Be relaxed while eating.
18 The night time meal must be light.
19 Alcohol should be used in moderation.
20 If you don’t like alcohol, you don’t have to have it.
21 Drinking red wine reduce the probability of heart ailments by up to 60 percent, and also protects against strokes. It is good for the blood, has a positive effect on cholesterol and also against atherosclerosis.
22 Alcohol helps in dissolving dangerous clots in the blood.
23 Alcohol can raise the level of good HDL cholesterol.
24 Wine cannot alter the consequences of smoking or not exercising.
25 90 percent of all situations that cause us stress are trivial and inconsequential.
26 Stress currently affects women more than it does men.
27 Stress can motivate and challenge us.
28 Be a dreamer, but set yourself attainable goals. Don’t be a perfectionist. Accepting that you are not perfect, reduces you blood pressure and stress.
29 Learn to delegate.
30 Show emotion (grief, anger, joy). By suppressing your emotions, you increase your risk of heart attack.
31 Those who hire and fire have the highest risk of heart attacks amongst executives. Those that fire take it more to heart, than those who have been fired.
32 The colder the season, the more the heart attacks.
33 Avoid televisions, computers and pets in your bedroom.
34 People with pets have less heart problems than those without pets.
35 Television is one of the main causes of obesity.
36 Cell phones are addictive, and cause stress.
37 Do not make your mobile your constant partner (at dinner, in the toilet, at the movies).
38 A cheerful, tolerant disposition reduces heart problems.
39 Laughter therapies have been scientifically proven as good for health. Laughter reduces blood pressure, stress, cancer and heart problems.
40 Having the courage to admit a mistake helps you gain confidence and conviction.
41 Women respond more calmly than men to aggression.
42 Share your problems by talking things over.
43 Think positively, be an optimist.
44 Happily married people are the least likely to have heart attacks. Lonely people run a greater risk of not surviving a heart attack.
45 Maintain old friendships and make new friends. The more your friends, the greater your health.
46 Anger can be fatal for cardiac patients. Anger counseling has helped reduce recurring hostility and stress by over 70 percent.
47 Faith can prolong your life – they strengthen the immune system. Active religious believers, live eight to ten years longer than non practicing per sons.
48 Belief and a positive mental attitude can be the difference between success and failure in cancer and cardiac recovery.
49 Have an annual medical check-up. It is the most fundamental rule of good health.
50 While your week belongs to your office, your weekends belong to your family.
51 Your day belongs to your work; your evenings belong to you to do as you wish.
52 A stress filled job requires a lazy holiday. A monotonous job requires hiking and trekking in your vacation.
53 Having a two or three week holiday is good for your family and for your health.
54 Your work either satisfies you, or it will make you ill. More than 50% of employees suffer from job related stress.
55 People who are yelled at in the workplace take more sick leaves.
56 Stressful jobs are responsible for heart attacks. When your job depresses you – Quit.
57 Office politics and canteen gossip cause major stress to hardworking employees.
58 Feel free to praise yourself - very few others will.
59 Keep your job options open. Loyalty is old fashioned in this modern world.
60 Surround yourself with capable people at work.
61 An afternoon siesta is good for the heart and the brain. A 30 minutes nap improves memory and performance.
62 Too little sleep is bad for the heart. Too much sleep is indicative of depression.
63 A person who sleeps less will have higher levels of blood pressure. People who sleep less have up to 70 percent poorer health than those who sle ep sufficiently. People, who suffer sleep deprivation, lose up to 25% of their intellectual capacity.
64 Lack of sleep reduces the body’s immunity. Eight to nine hours sleep a day is best. Sleep and get up at the same time all days. Never sleep with anger on your mind.
65 Set goals, targets and objectives, and strive to reach them collectively. Share your concerns and stresses – don’t bottle up.
66 Deep breathe while stressed. Counter office stress, by going for short walks every hour.
67 Flowers, plants and an aquarium relieve stress. Stretch and yawn often, this reduces stress.
68 Music is a balm for the soul and is good for the heart. Music reduces stress.
69 Accordingly to German research, sudden loud noise, or continuous low level irritating sound is an independent cardiac risk factor.
70 Traffic noise and machinery sounds increase adrenaline, affect blood composition, and increase the risk of heart attacks.
71 Nature’s sounds, water flowing and birds chirping are known to calm the heart.
72 Every 10 seconds, someone somewhere is dying of cigarette smoke. 35% of all heart related deaths are directly related to cigarette smoke.
73 Cigarette smoke contains 4000 different substances that are harmful to the body, brain and heart. Accordingly to World Health Organisation, smokers have a higher risk of cancer and cardiac ailments.
74 Smoking cause high blood pressure. The carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke inhibits the good cholesterol and raises the levels of bad cholesterol.
75 Women who smoke and are on contraceptive have a much higher risk of heart attacks.
76 Smokers who exercise increase their chances of surviving a heart attack. Coordinate your stop smoking regimen with a program of sports activity, and you will improve your chances of success.
77 Every hour your walk increases your lifespan by 60 minutes.
78 Sports help the body battle all diseases including cancer and heart attacks.
79 Exercise releases happiness endorphins in the body, keeping you trim and healthy, while also improving the quality and length of life.
80 Exercise reduces blood pressure, reduces cholesterol and reduces diabetes. It also battles stress.
81 Exercisers survive heart attacks. Exercise strengthens all the muscles of the body including the muscles of the heart.
82 Exercise for 30-60 minutes daily at a moderate intensity. One hour of exercise, utilizes one meal.
83 Frequent blood donations every three to six months, is good for the heart.
84 Nothing is better for the heart than making love frequently. Sex relieves tension and release the feel good hormone in the body.
85 Sexually active men and women live longer, but sex outside of a loving relationship can be harmful to the body.
86 Like exercise, for sex to be beneficial, it must be regular. Twice a week is as good for the heart as exercising every day.
87 Every day activities such as climbing stairs, carrying the groceries, gardening etc are good for the heart. Daily household activities, such as making the beds, cleaning the house etc. cuts your risk of heart attack by half.
88 Laziness and being sedentary constitute the same cardiac risk as high blood pressure and smoking. Regular exercise strengthens the heart, and reduces heart activity by a million heart beats each month.
89 Start exercise gradually (by warming up) and do not stop exercise abruptly (do a gradual cool down). This manages the heart rate and blood pressure.
90 Exercise improves circulation, reduces body fat, improves cholesterol, strengthens the bones, combats depression, reduces blood pressure, reduces stress, overcomes insomnia, and increases self confidence.
91 Swimming is as good, if not better than running as an exercise. Golf for executives balances the stresses of work.
92 Never delay a good health resolution (to reduce weight, quit smoking, exercise, etc). Always start immediately. Not tomorrow, or next week, or next year. Start NOW.