1.10 – Reasons to Get Heart Healthy
In this video, we will talk about how important it is to be heart healthy starting right now. This applies to everyone. Those with heart disease, risk factors for heart disease, or those who just want to be sure they do not get it! It is very important to reinforce the reasons to be heart healthy to help you keep the motivation and willpower to complete the HeartStrong.com program all the way to the end.
By the end of this video series, you should have more motivation and drive to stick to a healthy lifestyle. If ever you are faltering throughout the program, just come back here and watch this again to re-energize your drive to be healthy!
Top 10 Reasons to be Heart Healthy
Lets start with the obvious…heart disease is the #1 cause of death in U.S. More than 600,000 people die each from heart disease in the US every year. That means every year just as many people die from heart disease than the number of American soldiers that died in all wars in American History combined!
Think about it. You all know someone who has heart disease and probably know someone who has died from heart disease. Not sure? How about these people:
Former Vice President Dick Cheney
CNN Interviewer Larry King
Burt Reynolds – had coronary bypass surgery
Regis Philbin – had coronary artery bypass surgery
Actress Elizabeth Taylor
John Candy – died of a heart attack age 43
Alex Trebek – had a heart attack
Carrie Fisher (princess Leie) – died of a heart attack age 60
Alan Thicke – died of a heart attack at age 69
President George Bush – had a coronary blockage fixed with a stent
Former president Bill Clinton who now strongly adheres to a cholesterol free, whole food plant based diet based on the recommendations of his doctors. OK…you get the point.
Heart disease in a large majority of cases is PREVENTABLE1, can be halted and even REVERSED2 through diet and lifestyle changes. Heart disease can be completely stopped in its tracks. It simply need not exist at all and could be essentially eliminated if everyone made the appropriate lifestyle changes. Heart disease does start early in childhood as we will see, however it is never too late to start heading in the right direction. Proper focus on healthy eating, physical activity and avoiding tobacco is all that it takes.
Can you imagine completely eliminating not only 600,000 annual deaths from heart disease, but more than 100,000 strokes, eliminating diabetes, aneurysms, peripheral arterial disease and while you are at it, dramatically decreasing your risk of cancer, perhaps by as much as 50%? THIS is the power of healthy eating and other lifestyle changes.
Think of it this way…if another country was responsible for killing 600,000 Americans per year, would the U.S. government just turn the other way and ignore it? I don’t think so…this would lead to all out war. Well…heart disease kills 600,000 Americans…and it is preventable. WHY then is more action not taken by the government or other organizations to stop heart disease in its tracks??? The reasons are complex and include politics, big industry, culture and our own healthcare systems which are discussed later in the program.
OK so heart disease is preventable, but what most people don’t know that the cholesterol deposits, initially called “fatty streaks” that cause heart disease, start in childhood. They have been found in children as young as 3 years old3 and a majority of 10 year old children already have cholesterol build-up4! The cholesterol deposits take decades until symptoms arise which can sometimes be life threatening. Just like saving for retirement, the sooner you start keeping your heart healthy, the better of you’ll be later in life. At the same time, it is never too late to get your health in order. Better late than never they say. Exercising regularly, eating healthy and keeping your weight healthy starting as early as possible can go quite a long way to prevent heart disease.
Make the people around you healthy…including your kids and grandkids
Research has shown that we are dramatically influenced by the closest 5 people in our lives5. Usually this is a spouse, parent, sibling or close friend. If you get healthy and let your loved ones and close friends know that this is a priority in your life, you will be quite surprised how you will end up influencing them to do the same. Think about how our kids are today…video games, unhealthy fast food, too much sugar…all this adds up leading to heart disease in adulthood. Can you believe that being obese at the age of 2, yes 2, has been linked strongly linked to heart disease in adulthood? You need to be heart healthy NOW so your kids or grandkids can see what you are doing and you can influence them to do the same. They will follow and adopt a more healthy lifestyle if they see you being heart healthy.
There are frequently NO SYMPTOMS until a heart attack occurs
This can be scary. You hear the stories all the time. The person who was fine one day, then had a heart attack the next day. Well…this is how heart attacks work, but they CAN be prevented if you do the right things. We will talk about this more in other videos, but briefly, a heart attack happens when a blood clot suddenly forms on one of those cholesterol plaques that took decades to build up. The blood clot can form within minutes and can block the blood flow in the artery completely. When the blood supply is cut off to the heart muscle like this, damage starts to happen quickly and symptoms of a heart attack begin.
The scary thing about heart attacks is that someone can be COMPLETELY fine one day and even exercise without any symptoms of heart disease, then suddenly the next day a blood clot can form in the coronary artery and cause a serious, life-threatening heart attack. That is because even minor plaquing that doesn’t cause symptoms can suddenly trigger a coronary blood clot. So just because you feel great does not mean that you are not at risk of heart attack…another reason to start getting healthy right away.
You Will Feel Better
You will have more energy
Less erectile dysfunction
Frequently reduce your medications which can cause side effects
Save A LOT of Money
Being heart healthy early can help prevent and even reverse hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and of course heart disease and stroke. Doctors visits and medications for these are quite expensive, not to mention the high cost and inconvenience of things like say…needing a heart stress test or other heart testing…or the even being hospitalized for chest pains or a heart attack…
Many will be surprised to find throughout the HeartStrong.com program that eating healthy is MUCH cheaper than eating unhealthy. Your grocery/food bill will actually go DOWN. Eliminating fast food, eating out and other expensive, unhealthy snacks or deserts will save you money and make you more healthy.
Lastly, the obvious…stopping smoking will save you potentially thousands of dollars per year!
Being Heart Healthy is Easier Than You Think
To be healthy you don’t need to eat tasteless food all day and spend hours in the gym contrary to popular belief. You just need to be aware of heart healthy concepts and work to integrate them into your lifestyle. Being healthy does require you to make changes to what you are used to, but the results are worth it!
Being Healthy Can Be Fun
Being heart healthy can be a fun adventure. Explore new foods that you have never tried before. Take up cooking…it is easier than you think and does NOT need to take up a lot of your time. Learn this new skill and teach others which can be quite enjoyable. Stay physically active in fun ways that you enjoy. Join exercise groups, get an exercise partner, or simply use your exercise to spend some time by yourself if you prefer. Walking/running a 5K or 10K can be quite an exciting accomplishment that you never thought you could do. Like many things, once you have mastered the skills of being heart healthy you will wonder why so many other people have such a hard time with it!
Live Longer…Live better
Americans are not living longer…they are dying longer. Perhaps sticking around to live into their 80’s, but with multiple medical conditions and on multiple medications, in nursing homes and with a poor quality of life. Want to live to be 80 or 90 years old with a good quality of life without taking a dozen medications? Then start getting heart healthy NOW. There is no question about it, the average person who is heart healthy will live longer than those in poor heart health. Want to see your kids or grandchildren grow up, graduate from school, get married? Then focus on keeping yourself in good health and you will have a much better shot and sticking around long enough to see and do what you want.
Not only will you have a better QUANTITY of life (live longer) if you focus on your health, but you will live a better QUALITY of life as well. Poor diet and exercise habits have been shown to increase the risk of dementia, cancers and other debilitating chronic disease. Keep your marbles as you get older…focus on your health.
We Are Talking About Your Life Here…
This video is not about “Why I should get a dog” or “Why should I invest in the stock market”, we are talking about life and death here. This video is about “Why I should try not to die.” Life is short and there are many wonderful things to explore and experience. Keep yourself in good health to enjoy life as much as you can.
Why don’t you ask yourself the question “Why should I prevent myself from dying from heart disease” …sounds silly, doesn’t it?
There you have it. 10 reasons to be heart healthy. As you can see, the time to start being heart healthy is now! Any time you run into problems with motivation or willpower staying healthy or sticking to the HeartStrong.com heart healthy plan, come back to this video and refresh your memory as to why you are following the HeartStrong.com program in the first place! Now get heart healthy!