Thursday, September 16, 2010

TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEART


You want to live longer, read this post. 

Take care of your heart, because without it, you and I will die.Here is some not-so-good news about Malaysia's health:

1) Heart diseases are on the rise in Malaysia despite improvement in health services and facilities.

2) They were the second leading cause of death in 2006, accounting for 15.5 per cent of those who died in government hospitals.

3) By 2010 (which is next year!), they are projected to be the leading cause of death in Malaysia and other developing countries.

4) According to the Malaysia Noncommunicable Disease Surveillance 2005/2006, the prevalence of risk factors such as physical inactivity was 60.1 per cent, smoking 25.5 per cent, obesity 48.6 per cent, hypertension 25.7 per cent, raised blood glucose 11 per cent and hypercholesterolemia 53.5 per cent.

5) Heart disease is a chronic disease, meaning, if we get it, we don't diet right away. This is good (of course!), because we don't die. But this is bad too: we have to live with the disease and its many health complication and, oh-yes, expensive medication, treatment or even surgery.

How do you reduce your risk of getting heart disease, and thus contributing to the dismal statistics?

1) Get a health screening:
Check your blood lipid profile: you want to know not just the total cholesterol, but also your good (HDL) and bad ones (LDL).
For everyone, aim for
Total blood cholesterol <5.2>
HDL>1 mmol/L
LDL<3.4mmol/l

2) Check your waist-hip ratio
For men, aim to get it <>
For women, aim to get it <0.85

3) Reduce your waist line
Research findings consistently show that the fat around your abdomen poses greater risk to your health especially heart disease than the fat in your hip. So, hey, if you really had to, I mean, absolutely had no choice, then, it's better to have a big fat buttock and big fat belly!

Here're some tips to put heart disease at bay:

1) Move Your Body:
I mean find time and ways to get your body moving. Walking, jogging, cycling, hiking, dancing, playing with your grandchild, whatever, just move as often as you can during the day.

2) Eat Well:
I don't mean gorging your food at buffet. But eat more greens (vegetables) and fruits.
Cut down on meat and animal food products.

3) Do not get angry and stressed out easily.
Life is too short to be boiling and fuming all the time. Take life easy, laugh and find humor in everything. Even your grumpy old wife (or husband) can be charming and sweet if you choose to see her (him) that way. 

Take care of your heart, and have a pleasant weekend!
Yours in wellness,

Dr Yen Ang
DrPH, RD, ACSM
Lifestyle Intervention Consultant
Adventist Wellness Center

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