There are three categories of risk factors that can lead to heart disease and having a heart attack: major unchangeable, major modifiable and contributing risk factors. (https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/understand-your-risks-to-prevent-a-heart-attack). This week we will focus on major modifiable risk factors. These are risk factors that you can modify, change or control by adopting a healthy preventive lifestyle.
Smoking: By now, most adults and, even preschoolers know that smoking cigarettes is bad for your health. The ingredients in cigarettes can cause direct damage to the heart and blood vessels and result in chronic illnesses that create the conditions for poor or compromised heart health. (https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/index.htm). Thankfully, if you have started to smoke or have an addiction, The American Heart Association has provided resources to help!
How Can I Quit Smoking? [English]
How Can I Quit Smoking? [Spanish]
Diet and Exercise: The saying, You are what you eat, is true. Eat healthy foods and your body will be healthy; eat unhealthy foods and your body will be unhealthy! Diets high in fat and sodium and lacking in essential nutrients qualify as unhealthy. Consuming such a diet places your overall health at risk and compromises heart health. The United States Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute have crafted this free cookbook: Keep the Beat Recipes: Deliciously Healthy Dinners. Start making heart healthy choices today!
Worried that you’ll have to break the bank to make the switch to heart healthy foods? Check out this free resource by The American Heart Association: How to Eat Healthy on a Budget.
Poor food choices, when coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, can lead to excessive weight gain and obesity. Being overweight and or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure. Both these diseases cause the heart to work harder, which can lead to heart disease, heart failure and heart attack. Start moving today: 3 Exercises to Improve Heart Health. Exactly how much physical activity do you need? Find out in English and Spanish.
Stress: We know that when experiencing stress you may be tempted to make unwise lifestyle choices, i.e. smoking, eating unhealthy foods and practicing seclusion. These unhealthy choices work to put you at risk of becoming obese, having elevated cholesterol levels and developing diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, leading to heart attack or stroke. Attack stress today: 7 Ways Christians Should Deal With Stress and Anxiety.
Happy temple building!
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is a daughter of God who believes that as we seek the truth of God's Word, and humble ourselves to live in agreement with it, that we will experience the transformation which allows us to enter wholistic wellness: spirit, soul and body. She is the Founder and President of EarthBasic and leads its Be-Held Community: a group of women seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God’s Word together. She is excited about this addition to the Be-Held Community, which will provide loving, sustainable, Christ-centered and well researched resources to support women in cultivating a life of wholistic self-care: spirit, soul, and body, which will in turn equip them to bless the generations in their care.