Healthy Heart: A Number Game

HEART

Lucky numbers are not just for the lottery. It is also best suited for healthy living and a balanced well-being. Below are the “numbers” that you need to remember and play right.  Here are important numbers that you need to look into and aim for:

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Having a belly fat can predispose a person to heart disease even if they’re not overweight. Thus increasing stomach fat — especially the “hidden fat” in the abdomen — is associated with newly identified and worsening heart disease risk factors, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Previous studies have shown that people who carry excess abdominal fat around their midsection — a so-called “spare tire” — tend to face higher risks of heart disease compared to people who have fat elsewhere.

02

  • Underweight: BMI is less than 18.5
  • Normal weight: BMI is 18.5 to 24.9
  • Overweight: BMI is 25 to 29.9
  • Obese: BMI is 30 or more

Having a BMI under 25 states that an individual is most like having a normal body weight related to its height thus, having a normal weight, indicates that a person is less likely predisposed to certain health problems later in life. Being overweight or having a BMI above 25 strains the heart and raises blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

03

The top number is called systolic pressure or the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The bottom number on one hand is the pressure or the pressure between beats. Typically, more attention is given to systolic blood pressure (the top number) as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people over 50. In most people, systolic blood pressure rises steadily with age due to the increasing stiffness of large arteries, long-term build-up of plaque and an increased incidence of cardiac and vascular disease.

04

If a person has heart disease or he/she just want to keep his/her ticker healthy, they’ve probably heard the saying: “Watch your cholesterol!” The type that puts people’s heart at risk is LDL, the “bad” cholesterol.

It collects in the walls of your blood vessels, where it can cause blockages. Higher levels of LDL raises the chances of a heart attack. That is because of a sudden blood clot that forms there. Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) sticks to the lining of the blood vessels, leading to clogged arteries. Higher levels may raise your risk of heart disease and heart attack. Get a simple blood test to check your LDL levels. If they’re high, healthy foods and medicine can help get them down.

05

HDL cholesterol is the well-behaved “good cholesterol.” This friendly scavenger cruises the bloodstream. As it does, it removes harmful bad cholesterol from where it doesn’t belong. High HDL levels reduce the risk for heart disease — but low levels increase the risk.

06

Triglycerides are another type of fat in the blood linked to heart disease. Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in the body; they store excess energy from most type of diet. A high triglyceride level combined with low HDL cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol is linked with fatty buildups in artery walls. This increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

07

It is calculated by adding LDL + HDL + 20% of Triglycerides. Get these numbers checked regularly starting at age 20.

Exercise

Heart diseases are still the number one leading cause of death in the world based on the World Health Organization. The good news is by knowing the numbers; it is easier to know thy health. By simply monitoring the numbers, it will help everyone provide an indicator to start it right. It is clear that by knowing the numbers and starting healthy can make a huge difference.

Story Source:

American College of Cardiology. “Why belly fat is dangerous for the heart.”

Amanda Gardner, http://www.health.com

http://www.heart.org, ”Know your numbers”

http://www.webmd.com, “LDL Cholesterol & HDL Cholesterol”

http://www.who.int,”The Top 10 Causes of Death”

 

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