Did you know heart disease is the number one killer of women in America? While this subject may not be specifically related to online education, it is still an important one to cover for adult students. Heart disease isn’t just a heart attack, it also includes irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and is also called cardiovascular disease. Genetics plays a part of your risk for heart disease, but lifestyle changes you can make can help reduce your risk. These changes aren’t big ones and almost everyone can make them to take care of their heart.
Know your numbers. Three numbers you should know are your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglycerides level. Normal blood pressure is 105/70 to 135/80 for adults. According to the Mayo Clinic, your total cholesterol should be 200 or below with your HDL 60 and above, and your LDL less than 100. The Mayo Clinic also recommends your triglyceride level to be less than 150. If your numbers are higher, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce them. If he puts you on meds, be sure to take them even though you feel fine.
Have a positive attitude. People who maintain a positive attitude in life have less of a risk for heart disease. According to WedMD, researchers found that if you keep a positive attitude you will have 22% less risk for developing heart disease. Everyone gets sad or depressed once in a while, but try to keep an overall good attitude.
Include plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet. Eating a balanced diet rich in dark green leafy vegetables and other fresh produce has been shown to outsmart the gene some people carry that may put them at risk for heart disease. Not only will this help stave off heart disease, but a diet full of fresh produce will improve your overall health.
Pass on the soda. An article in the February 2012 edition of Good Housekeeping magazine cited a University of Oklahoma study which found that women over 45 who drank more than two sodas and other sugar sweetened beverages per day had a four times risk of high triglycerides than women who drank less than two per day.
Take a Vitamin D supplement. Although you can get Vitamin D from the sun, you also run the risk of skin cancer with too much exposure. Instead doctors recommend you take a 600 mg supplement each day. This reduces your risk of not only heart disease, but inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.
Rise and shine. A Dutch study of 20,400 people found those who didn’t get enough sleep had a 65% higher risk for heart disease. Doctors recommend you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day so your body can develop a regular sleep rhythm.
These simple lifestyle changes can help to reduce your risk of heart disease. Whether you’re studying to be an office manager, teacher, veterinary assistant, or what ever program you are studying, you need to be healthy. You owe it to yourself and your family to do all you can to avoid heart disease.