What’s heart problems or CVD and what are you able to do to stop it

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cardiovascular disease

I was naive about heart health. I thought it was an illness for "old people". Then suddenly someone from a previous job died – around my age – and I had my wake up call. And someone else I knew was growing up had a stroke. After all, he's fine, but that was another shock.

Now I know that even a seemingly "slim" person (who is not fit and leads an unhealthy lifestyle) is exposed to a severe heart attack or stroke. They could have "hidden" conditions that – if left untested – seriously endanger their health and longevity. Things like high blood pressure or high cholesterol are not only "genetic" but are also largely influenced by the daily decisions we make (or not) about stress relief techniques, the amount of sleep we get, the amount of Exercise we take and the amount of processed foods we consume.

Unfortunately, the environment we live in has become "obese" – in other words, an environment that makes it almost easier to be overweight or obese than it is to be slim. Anyone who regularly consumes a A high-fat, high-sugar, or processed diet, or those who exercise little, drink too much alcohol, or smoke are placed in the risk category. For anyone living this type of life – especially those 30 and older – it is time to stop being naive and become aware of the reality of heart health.

What are the cardiovascular disease statistics?

Fortunately, Ireland has made massive strides in terms of it over the past few decades Reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD). This is mainly due to improved treatments.

However, experts are now warning that the sheet with the Obesity and Diabetes Epidemic We are currently facing this (in addition to low physical activity). This could mean that CVD mortality will rise if the lifestyle the Irish public chooses does not improve healthily soon.

Recent research by the World Health Organization suggests so 32.7 percent of Irish adults do not get enough exercise. Irish women lead far less active lives than men. 28.3 percent of men are "overly inactive" and increase to 37.1 percent for women. Little progress was made in improving physical activity between 2001 and 2016, and if current trends continue, the global goal of reducing the sedentary lifestyle by 10 percent by 2025 will not be met.

Worse still, our children are at serious risk. Research shows that Four out of five of our children are not getting the recommended one-hour physical activity per day. Currently, almost a third of Irish children are overweight and in 2016 nine percent of girls and 10 percent of boys in Ireland were classified as obese.

According to experts who work in the field, more than a third of children presenting to the specialized weight management service at Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin already have risk factors for heart disease. What does this say for the future health of our country?

What can you do about cardiovascular disease?

First, have your family doctor check your cholesterol and blood pressure. If you are overweight, your next step is to start a weight loss program. If you are not sure what your BMI or body fat content is, please contact us for a non-binding valuation of 25 euros. We will then provide you with all the information you need about your current weight.

Then we will discuss how we can help. All of our weight loss programs are scientifically based and we do not use a “diet” approach. Instead, we look at changing habits and attitudes so that you can regain your weight in the long term. Hopping from one diet to the next is a very different approach. Our plans will help you lose between 1 and 4 pounds each week until you reach your goal weight. Then we urge you to seriously consider a "maintenance program" as it is sometimes as difficult to bring that weight down as it is the first time you lose it (but well worth the effort).

Second, start introducing some activity into your life. Try to be a role model for your children and encourage them to be active too. Put the phone / laptop down. Away from technology. You don't even have to work it out in the gym to get the heart health and weight loss benefits. Just a 5km walk most days of the week is enough.

Cardiologist Professor Bill McEvoy explains, “We know that many people's jobs are now more sedentary, people are increasingly busy and have less time to exercise. We know that social media and increasing digital connectivity have marred our time to be physically active. When you add in the abundance of relatively cheap and unhealthy foods, it's a deadly combination. "

Be careful with grocery stores

Shockingly, and as we mentioned on our blogs and podcasts here, Professor McEvoy has also seen a deterioration in our standards since returning from work in the US for over ten years. He continues: “After having been away from Ireland for a few years, when I got home I noticed how many gas station fast food outlets have sprung up since I left. In many ways, these are a symbol of the challenges we face in improving CVD health and reducing risk. "

He's right. It happens. When you enter a gas station, you will be greeted by a tray of donuts or pastries. I remember the same scenario over twenty years ago when I had a J1 visa in the US. I never thought that at any point in time we would face the same challenge in Ireland.

So be armed when you're in your car and hungry – always have alternative, healthy snacks available, stay well hydrated, and keep hunger pangs by eating regularly and always focusing on lean proteins and healthy vegetables. Our hearts are precious organs that help us stay alive. We take them for granted, but it's worth thinking about.

And let's not leave our health in the hands of marketers, gas stations, supermarkets, or fast food outlets. Cardiovascular disease is a deadly disease and it's time to take control of yourself – before it's too late.

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