Heart attack prevention - moderate boarding and not all at once
Healthy nutrition and sufficient exercise play a particularly important role in heart attack prevention. But moving around, eating healthily and having his heart attack risk factors under control is easier said than done for many, said the German Heart Foundation in a recent press release.
In the current release, heart specialists from the German Heart Foundation explain what healthy people and people with heart problems should pay attention to in order to minimize their risk of heart attack. However, shedding all unhealthy habits at once is overwhelming for most people. The experts from the heart foundations explain how to get started.
Risk factors for coronary artery disease
Lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, an unhealthy diet with too much sugar, carbohydrates and fat, but also psychosocial stress are significantly involved in the development of high blood pressure, diabetes and fat metabolism disorders. These, in turn, form risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD), which is usually the basis for a heart attack.
Know your own heart attack risk
In order to be able to assess your own risk, every general practitioner should have a "regular health check from the age of 35 onwards to examine these risk factors for heart or vascular disease", Prof. Dr. med. Heribert Schunkert from the Board of the German Heart Foundation and Director of the Clinic for Adult Cardiology at the German Heart Center Munich This is how you can reduce your risk of a gradual risk from undetected hypertension, narrowing of the coronary arteries or developing cardiac arrhythmias.
Change for many a Herculean task
If high blood pressure, high cholesterol or a narrowed coronary artery are found during the examinations, it is important for those affected to change their lifestyle as quickly as possible and to have the risk factors adjusted with medication. But "especially when there are several risk diseases at the same time and a tight time frame in everyday life through work and family, this change is a Herculean task for many," emphasizes Professor Dr. Bernhard Schwaab, President of the German Society for Prevention and Rehabilitation of Cardiovascular Diseases (DGPR) in the current press release.
Break through familiar structures
According to the expert, those affected should under no circumstances make the mistake of wanting to change everything at once. Quitting smoking at the same time, starting endurance sports, reducing excess weight and possibly even normalizing blood pressure and cholesterol levels with medication is simply too much for most of those affected. Old lifestyle structures usually have to be broken through for lifestyle changes and this is difficult. It is therefore “often helpful to set up fixed anchor points in your living environment,” explains Professor Schwaab. This could be a regular running, walker or cardio sports group in the club, cooking together with family and friends or exchanging ideas with ex-smokers in a self-help group.
First of all, it is advisable to start the movement, according to Professor Dr. Bernhard Schwaab. The movement makes you "feel better quickly, is more efficient and therefore also better able to cope with cardiac medical treatment," says Professor Schwaab. In addition, exercise not only protects against arteriosclerosis, but also has a positive effect on other body and organ functions such as cell renewal, stimulation of brain activity, metabolic processes in the liver and other organs. The goal should be 30 minutes of endurance sports five days a week. Professor Schunkert adds that this can be fast walking, cycling, jogging, walking, ergometer training or swimming. Just walking for ten minutes a day reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Before the start of training, cardiac patients should have a cardiologist determine their resilience and discuss the training workload.
Change of diet to Mediterranean cuisine
Furthermore, changing the diet is an important point for many people affected. A Mediterranean cuisine that relies on fruits and vegetables, lettuce, legumes, little meat, but rather fish, on olive and rapeseed oil and on herbs instead of salt, can support the gradual weight loss for a healthy normal weight, the experts report. "We promote Mediterranean cuisine because it increases protection against heart attack and stroke, but also against other chronic conditions such as diabetes and cancer," said Professor Schwaab and Professor Schunkert together. In particular, the daily consumption of sufficient fruit and vegetables can help to avoid obesity due to the relatively low energy content, which in turn prevents high blood pressure and thus also coronary heart diseases and heart attacks. (fp)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Dipl. Geogr. Fabian Peters
- Deutsche Herzstiftung: Heart attack prevention: Change lifestyle - but not all at once! (Published 09/25/2019), herzstiftung.de