MY FATHER HAD A HEART ATTACK AT AGE 52 AND I THINK MY GRANDPARENTS BOTH HAD HEART ATTACKS TOO. I AM 44 NOW, AND WORRIED!
This is a very important question because heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in today’s modern world. A heart attack occurs when the heart (which is really a muscle that pumps blood around the body) becomes starved of oxygen because its own blood supply is blocked or narrowed. Heart attacks can be very serious and they can be fatal although rapid medical care can make a huge difference to outcomes.
Besides the critical importance of getting rapid medical care in the event of a heart attack, prevention is the key. There are a number of known risk-factors for heart disease and besides a few that you cannot alter (age, family history, genetics), most can be managed and the risks reduced. For the most part it comes down to sensible healthy living along the lines that most if us are already familiar with, but here are five areas to focus on:
Weight Control. Maintaining a healthy weight is good for us in so many ways, and reduced heart-disease risk is certainly one.
Exercise. Another proven risk-reducer. Aim for 150-180 minutes of sweaty exercise per week and 30 minutes of moderate activity every day.
Do not smoke. Anything. Ever. Enough said.
Know your numbers. Have regular check ups on things like blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar: these numbers are important and can be managed to reduce your risks.
Relax. We all have stress and we all know how hard it can be to handle modern life’s pressures, but NOT doing so will increase your risk of heart disease. Proven fact. So you simply MUST find a way to de-stress.
Life happens and so do heart attacks. Sometimes. But not inevitably. There is much that can be done. It comes down to choosing to look after your future you. Or not.
Colin was a medical practitioner (GP) from 1988 to 2000. Since then he has worked in the wellness field, designing, developing and delivering various products and services. Out of clinical practice for many years now he no longer practices medicine formally but retains a keen interest in helping people become more-well versions of themselves. He acts as a wellness coach and not as a medical practitioner today.
Colin's approach and philosophy is based on empowerment: the notion that people only need a little help to make choices they usually already want to anyway - it's about respect and support rather than instruction or correction.
Colin lives at the Vaal Dam with his wife Cathy. He spends time walking mountains, cycling, motorbike riding, kayaking, sailing and always looking for better & better balance.