Life Starts At…

Category: Staying Healthy

Total 3 Posts

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in developed nations, particularly for people over the age of forty. The habits that people develop earlier in life will make all the difference in terms of whether they develop heart disease past the age of forty. However, even people who have reached this crucial milestone can help to prevent the development of heart disease later. They need to maintain certain dietary and exercise regimens, and they need to work closely with their physicians.

 

Exercise

 

One of the biggest predictors of whether or not someone is going to get heart disease is how much he or she exercises. People who are completely sedentary are at a significantly elevated risk of getting heart disease. Individuals who engage in aerobic exercise five days a week for thirty minutes or more will greatly reduce their risk of heart disease, as well as their risk of a wide range of other physical ailments.

Lots of different exercises can constitute aerobic exercise. Power walking, running, biking, using an elliptical trainer, swimming, dancing, and many other activities can give people the aerobic exercise that they need in order to stay fit and healthy.

It should be noted that when people get more than an hour of aerobic exercise every day, they’re going to start to get diminishing returns. Past a certain point, exercise can be rough on the joints, and potentially damaging to the heart. However, as long as people don’t exercise for more than two hours a day, they’re not going to suffer any negative health consequences associated with their exercise sessions.

Anaerobic exercise can also make a big different when it comes to preventing heart disease later in life. Anaerobic exercise can improve circulation. People who lift weights, do yoga, and perform various stretching exercises are giving themselves anaerobic exercise. These people will also manage to keep themselves fit and healthy for a long time.

 

Diet

 

The dietary regimen that will lead to heart health is somewhat controversial. Some people argue that saturated fat is the biggest contributor to heart disease. Other people argue that it is cholesterol. Some people say that cholesterol is only damaging in so much as it raises the serum cholesterol in the human bloodstream, and that saturated fat is still the problem. Other people argue that the fats from vegetable oil, other than monounsaturated fat, are the worst kinds. Some people will say that it’s only important to avoid trans fats, and the rest are fine. The nutritional establishment itself is divided on all of these issues, and individual people are baffled.

Trying to find some order in the chaos of nutrition science is difficult at the best of times. People over forty, and even many people under thirty-five, have seen nutrition science recommendations change over and over again in their lifetimes. In the 1990’s, low-fat diets and low-cholesterol diets were all the rage. In the twenty-first century, high-protein, high-fat, and low-carbohydrate diets have experienced a resurgence in popularity. Both camps will argue that their approach is better for heart health. Heart disease is blamed on sugar in some circles and fat and cholesterol in other circles.

Ultimately, healthy individuals should try to eat a variety of foods if they can. Certain nutritional recommendations don’t seem to change. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables has always been considered positive. Drinking lots of water is similarly beneficial. People should try to emphasize whole grains and lean protein, as well as the incontrovertibly healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fat. Not eating too much salt and sugar is similarly a good idea, and avoiding all trans fatty acids is important.

If people try to build their diets around these foods, the rest is usually going to take care of itself. They might end up consuming more carbohydrates or more fat according to the elusive ideal, but they will generally be eating healthy diets.

 

Lifestyle

 

People who smoke should stop if they want to safeguard their hearts. People who have very stressful lifestyles should try to enact some forms of stress management, or they’re going to cause damage to their hearts in the long run. Stress management is difficult to come by for a lot of people, but even some minor forms of stress management can make a huge difference for the people who are at risk for heart disease. Healthy forms of stress management, such as socializing, intellectual stimulation, or wholesome entertainment can actually make a big difference in terms of a person’s overall health and well-being.

Some minor things are correlated with heart disease as well. People who brush and floss every day seem to be at a reduced risk of heart disease. Certain stimulant drugs may have a long-term negative effect on a person’s heart as well, so it is a good idea to take stimulants in moderation.

Individuals who want to reduce their risk of heart disease as much as possible should make sure that they get regular doctor’s appointments. Early detection is more important with cancer, but it can still make a difference with heart disease.

Still, the biggest predictors of heart disease are still age and family history. Even people with terrible lifestyles who are under forty will rarely have heart disease. People with terrible lifestyles and no family history of heart disease are less likely to get it than the people who do everything right but who have all of the worst genetic correlations. At present, there is nothing that people can do to change their genes.

 

Conclusion

 

Knowing how to prevent the risk of heart disease later in life can make all the difference. Heart disease is a major killer for the people who live long enough. There is only so much anyone can do to change his or her odds. However, people can at least improve their chances by adopting the right habits and monitoring their health well enough. Heart disease is at least partly preventable and controllable for fortunate individuals.

Keeping Joints Supple in Old Age

Joint pain is often seen as a fact of old age. However, joint pain in old age is by no means inevitable, and it is not a guaranteed product of old age. Some people can get joint pain in their teenage years. Other people will go their whole lives without it. Keeping joints supple in old age is partly a matter of luck, since it is about genetics to a certain extent. However, people do have some control over whether or not their joints are still going to be able to literally support them later in life. Keeping joints supple in old age will have countless benefits for the people who are trying to make sure that they’re able to do as much as they like later in life. Supple joints can allow people to become very healthy and active senior citizens, which is becoming more and more common today and which will help a lot of people feel as if they have lived their lives.

 

Exercise

 

People need to exercise on a regular basis in order to keep their joints supple in old age. They’ll need high-impact aerobic exercise that really builds the bones, and they’ll need exercise that is going to really tone the muscles of their legs. People who run, power-walk, swim, bike, or do other forms of aerobic exercise are going to manage to keep their joints young and healthy for an extended period of time.

They’ll improve their bone density and strengthen the muscles surrounding their legs and their joints, thus allowing them to really maintain strong and healthy legs. Strength-training exercises of different kinds can make a big difference when it comes to long-term joint health. However, while these kinds of exercises are mainly going to keep the joints in line and promote flexibility, they’re only going to be able to do so much when it comes to actually strengthening a person’s leg muscles and bones.

However, it is important to avoid overexercising when it comes to joint health. Too much heavy running can damage a person’s joints over the long-term. Exercise that is too high-impact isn’t going to help people maintain their joints. Many professional athletes, who exercise more than all other people, will have terrible joint problems very early in life. Ballet dancers will have osteoporosis and arthritis in middle adulthood in many cases. Moderate regular exercise promotes supple joints in middle age and old age, not painfully demanding exercise.

 

Nutrition

 

People who want to be able to keep their joints supple into old age are going to need to make sure that they get enough calcium and vitamin D. Calcium and vitamin D will help promote bone and muscular health. Usually, people can get all of the calcium and vitamin D that they need from supplements alone, so they don’t need to make tremendous dietary changes in order to make sure that they’re getting enough calcium and vitamin D.

herbal-tea-1410565_1280
Green Tea is great for topping up the immune system

However, getting enough dietary protein still matters when it comes to joint and bone health. Protein is actively used by the body to create new tissues and repair older tissues. The idea that all macro-nutrients are the same is wrong. People use carbohydrates for energy only, at least in most cases. However, they will use protein and fat for the sake of forming new tissues and cell membranes, along with a whole host of other important functions. These are the macro-nutrients that people are going to need in order to give their bodies the best possible chance of maintaining themselves over the long-term.

People also need to avoid eating too little throughout their lives. People who chronically diet are at an increased risk of osteoporosis and arthritis, even earlier in life. The eating disordered population is at a particularly high risk of problems like these, but people who diet too often are going to have similar problems. People should remember that lifestyle is still more important than sheer weight figures, and eating healthy is more important than eating sparingly. People need to develop a firm nutritional base early in life, and eating enough is part of that.

 

Weight

 

People also need to be careful to maintain reasonably healthy body sizes in both directions in order to keep their joints supple into old age. The health consequences associated with weight alone get exaggerated. Often times, it’s a person’s lifestyle that matters. An obese person with a healthy diet who exercises all the time is going to be healthier than a thin person who never exercises. In fact, if the obese person is not morbidly obese and the thin person is underweight, the obese person in question is probably going to have better joint health.

 

However, there is still some correlation between weight and health. Underweight people are at an increased risk of osteoporosis and joint problems. Morbidly obese people are more likely to suffer from joint problems, since the weight places too much strain against their joints. One reason why underweight people tend to get joint problems is the simple fact that they don’t develop the joint strength that they need, since their joints only have to support a minimal amount of weight. Morbidly obese people have the opposite problem in that their joints are just supporting more weight than they can handle.

 

People who are in the middle of those weight extremes will have the best odds, particularly people who are at the higher end of the ‘normal’ range or the lower end of the ‘overweight’ range. People who are slightly overweight may have the best joint health, assuming that they exercise, since they’re heavy enough to be able to strengthen their joints without placing too much pressure on them. Ultimately, of course, people should remember that lifestyle is more important than weight except at the extremes.

Blueberries
Throw some blueberries on your porridge – they taste great and are packed with Anti-Oxidents

Few older people are underweight or morbidly obese: the people who live to a ripe old age are somewhere in the middle, and they usually have decades worth of healthy living to show for it. Many of them also have comparatively healthy joints.

The Risks of High Cholesterol

The risks of high cholesterol are still somewhat debatable in the medical literature. Some people deny the correlation between high cholesterol and heart disease, for instance. However, there is still a lot of literature illustrating the dangers of high cholesterol. According to the precautionary principle, it still makes sense for people to try to keep their cholesterol readings in a certain range.

It should be noted that the definition of a healthy range of cholesterol has changed over the years. People in the early twentieth century actually had higher cholesterol readings than modern folk, at least on average. The fact that readings like total cholesterol have actually improved over the course of the last few decades is a good sign, and it might be one of the reasons why people live longer and healthier lives today. The frontier American diet of salted pork and corn bread looks bad even next to the worst excesses of the modern American diet.

 

High Cholesterol Problems

 

People with high cholesterol are prone to heart problems of all kinds, as well as problems related to the cardiovascular system in general. There is evidence that the people who have high cholesterol are much more likely to suffer from heart disease. People who have high cholesterol are more likely to get heart attacks. Even when people survive heart attacks, it is possible for them to do permanent damage to their hearts.

There seems to be a correlation between high cholesterol and high blood pressure. This could be largely a function of certain dietary factors. The people who have bad diets are going to put themselves at risk for high blood pressure in addition to high cholesterol. However, high blood levels of serum cholesterol should naturally have lots of different effects throughout a person’s body, and these effects are going to directly relate to the circulatory system.

Some people with high cholesterol are more likely to have respiratory problems and breathing difficulties. Given the connection between the heart, lungs, and circulatory system, damage to one system is going to affect another system. People are going to have to contend with multi-faceted damage to their organ systems if they have damaged their hearts as a result of high cholesterol.

High cholesterol readings are overall associated with a reduced lifespan. Many of the people in this situation are going to take years or decades off of their lives in one way or another. Some people might die of heart disease brought on by their higher cholesterol readings. Some people might need surgeries in order to correct these heart problems, and the surgeries might present life-threatening complications. One way or another, people with high cholesterol are less likely to live to a ripe old age.

 

High Cholesterol At Different Ages

 

The risks associated with high cholesterol do not usually catch up to people until they reach middle age. However, people will spend their young adulthood years getting themselves to that point in the first place. Young people will eat bad diets that emphasize saturated fat and cholesterol over more wholesome fare, and their bodies will accumulate damage as a result.

A person’s exercise levels will also have a tremendous effect on his or her total cholesterol. People who exercise on a regular basis have lower cholesterol readings than the people who don’t, especially when it comes to aerobic exercise. People who have spent their young adult years exercising are going to be that much more likely to retain low cholesterol readings well into middle adulthood.

The health risks associated with high cholesterol start to increase in middle adulthood. They increase even more in late adulthood. People who have family histories of heart disease and the people who have poor lifestyles are usually going to find that these unfortunate factors will catch up to them by the time they’re in late middle age and when they’re approaching old age.

The definition of old age varies. Some people still consider the people who are over the age of fifty-five to be senior citizens. However, this is widely regarded as middle age today, and old age is thought to start in the sixties or seventies. People who have problems with high cholesterol will usually find that the troubles will catch up with them when they have reached the age of sixty-five or so.

Ultimately, young people need to prepare for middle adulthood by getting their cholesterol readings in order. Middle-aged people need to prepare for late adulthood for the same reasons and in the same way. Maintaining heart health throughout one’s life is a process, and people are going to need to make sure that they have not left anything to the last minute.

 

Lowering Cholesterol

 

Fortunately, it is possible for people at any age to get their cholesterol readings down substantially. People who add more exercise into their weekly routines will find that their total cholesterol levels will go down in many cases. Aerobic exercise is going to have a lot of different health benefits, and the people who are able to enjoy aerobic exercise most days of the week will also enjoy lower rates of heart disease.

Reducing total cholesterol through diet is more controversial, because people debate about how it is done. Some people say that it is more important to eat more soluble fiber and fiber in general. Other people say that cutting out fat, especially saturated fat, is more important. Many people say that sugar and salt are significantly more damaging than saturated fat could even be, since saturated fat is natural.

Other people say that it is total cholesterol that people should pay attention to, so they should avoid eating eggs and similar foods that are high in cholesterol. People who follow some or most of these dietary recommendations will probably give themselves a better chance, since most of these recommendations indicate a healthy diet in general. However, some individuals are going to need cholesterol medication in order to really make a difference with their overall long-term health.