The number one killer of people in developed countries is heart disease. This is because we tend to engage in lifestyles that are not conducive to good health and allow ourselves to be sedentary, gain weight, and to smoke.
- 610,000 people die of heart disease in the united states every year
- 1 in every 4 deaths is from heart disease
- In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds
- 1 death from heart disease every 60 seconds
Fortunately, many risk factors for heart disease can be prevented. Here are some things you can do in order to lessen your risk of heart disease, starting as early as in your 20s:
- Eat healthy. You can eat healthy at any age to reduce your risk of heart disease. This means eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish (especially oily fish containing omega-3 fatty acids), skinless chicken, legumes, nuts, and seeds. You should not have meat at every meal because meats are high in saturated fats and you should not eat highly processed foods, containing trans fats, which are bad for your heart. You should eat low fat dairy products and skinless chicken and turkey, limiting red meat and beverages that are high in sugar.
- Start an exercise program. You should get used to exercising every day for at least thirty minutes. Aerobic exercise can be fast walking, cycling, jogging, stair stepping, or swimming. Aerobic exercise is any exercise that speeds your heart rate and causes you to breathe faster. You should also include weight training as part of your exercise (at least twice weekly). Weight training or anaerobic workouts involve using free weights or weight machines that can increase your muscle mass, making your basal metabolic rate higher so you can maintain a healthy weight.