How About Some Help To Quit Smoking

If you’re a smoker, you’re participating in an activity that can actually shorten your life dramatically.  The number one killer in the United States is heart disease.  And the behavior that causes the greatest risk of heart disease is smoking.  The worst part is that heart disease causes from smoking is almost completely preventable.

The best thing you can do for your heart is to quit smoking immediately.  But quitting is easier said than done.  Here are a few tips to help you stop smoking now.  The first step to quitting is making the decision to do it.  Then you’ll need to set a date so that you can get prepared for the big lifestyle change you’re about to make.

As you’re preparing to quit smoking, you need to remove anything related to smoking from your home.  That includes lighters, ashtrays, and, of course, cigarettes.  You should also ask the people whom you’re around each day not to smoke in front of you.  Continue reading “How About Some Help To Quit Smoking” »

Your Heart And The Word “Exercise”

You have probably heard that it’s important to exercise to keep your heart healthy.  But you may not know how it actually does this important job.  Sometimes knowing the actual mechanism that helps your heart will help motivate you to make the changes you need for a healthier heart.

Exercise actually helps your heart to stay in shape.  It increases the amount of blood it can pump with a single beat.  It also helps to physically strengthen the muscle that makes up your heart  (cardiac muscle.)  Improving your heart health can improve the circulation all over your body.  That means that your body is getting oxygen and nutrients delivered to it more efficiently.

Exercise is also one of the only ways that you can increase your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels. This is the good cholesterol that actually helps to reduce the amount of plaque on your blood vessels.  Having high HDL levels actually helps you to keep your blood vessels from becoming blocked. Continue reading “Your Heart And The Word “Exercise”” »

Let’s Talk Cholesterol

Cholesterol is something that we have learned to fear.  We spend a lot of time eating foods that don’t have much of it and we get our blood tested for it, but what is this strange substance that’s responsible for damaging our hearts?

Cholesterol is material that’s waxy and fatty.  It’s found in the blood and in all of the cells of the body.  In fact, cholesterol can be a good thing – you’re supposed to have some.

Our body actually puts it to good use when it’s making cell membranes and putting together the building blocks of hormones.  So why do we worry so much about having it if we need it?

Too much cholesterol in the body results in hypercholesterolemia.  This is the technical term for high cholesterol.  When our body has more cholesterol than it can use for its everyday processes, the rest of it ends up floating freely in our blood.  When this happens, it begins to become deposited on the blood vessel walls. Continue reading “Let’s Talk Cholesterol” »

Eating Healthy When Eating Out

When you’re making an effort to eat healthy, eating at a restaurant can be a problem. While the food is usually quite tasty and you didn’t have to prepare it, it can also be loaded with enemies to your heart like saturated fat and sugar. But most menus offer some healthy selections that can make eating out both delicious and healthful. When my wife and I are out we always check for low calorie menu items.

Usually at first people look in the menu for healthy food located in the salad section. Many salads can be healthy, but you need to make sure that the ingredients – especially dressings – are low in saturated fat. In some cases there’s so much fat and so many calories in restaurant salads, you’d be better off eating a hamburger!

You can always choose grilled items that are lower in grease. Chicken makes a lower fat alternative to beef. And fish offers a heart healthy fat that actually helps to protect your arteries and veins from cholesterol. Baked or grilled fish is the perfect option when eating out. Continue reading “Eating Healthy When Eating Out” »