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Everybody Has a Hungry Heart

March 14th, 2005

By Stal Herz

The leading cause of death in America each year continues to be Heart Disease, with the numbers usually hovering around the 700,000 range. That number accounts for 30 percent of all annual deaths in the United States. The sad part is that, for the most part, this condition is preventable.

If this is so preventable, why are so many Americans stricken with it?

When the cells in your heart don’t get enough blood (which carries oxygen to the heart) the heart simply stops working properly and begins to die. Side effects and secondary symptoms derived from a malfunctioning heart are numerous, so when you ask someone, "What is heart disease," you should probably make that question plural. Heart disease can develop from a number of various conditions, ranging from erratic heart rhythms, to artery blockage to a clogged Aorta, a main expressway for blood.

Often ignored and thought to be an upset stomach or indigestion, the symptoms for heart disease resemble a combination of bad cramps and a severe flu. People may experience bouts of dizziness and nausea, as well as a squeezing sensation that runs from their necks down their shoulders, ending in a tight squeeze in the chest area.

If you are experiencing these symptoms on a regular basis, especially under stressful situations, you should consult your doctor immediately. It is usually when the body is pushed that you can see what problems lay underneath. The reason for this is that your body is built with certain immunities and strength systems that are designed to absorb heavy loads of work or stress. If there is a denial of essential oxygen and blood to your heart, performing these tasks will be all the more difficult.

For this reason, cigarette smokers, greasy food eaters and heavy drinkers of alcohol are all at an elevated risk of developing problems because they are using substances that prevent the proper blood flow to occur inside of the body.

Common mistakes people make when trying to improve the condition of their hearts is to engage in extreme exercises to try to build back their strength. The return to exercise has to be a slow one, so if you are starting to lift weights, make sure that they are very light at first. It is the motion and the breathing that will improve your health, the weight of what you are lifting is actually insignificant, unless you are trying to look like a body builder.

Despite the old American spirit of General Patton and those of his mind, pushing people to do beyond what they are capable of does not necessarily apply when talking about strengthening the heart. Too much work can easily result in a heart attack.

The stress from knowing that you need to improve your heart can also do as much damage as it can good. Too much stress can speed up the heart, causing your muscles to wear down under the constant barrage of pressure.

Reducing the intake of coffee and some meditation may help to decrease the risk of heart disease, while Pilates and various forms of Yoga stimulate blood flow, as these exercises were designed to keep a balanced body and healthy heart - A far cry from the western culture practice of body carving. Consult your doctor on doing intense yoga after a surgery, as the pressure may be too much. However, if you are looking for a preventative measure, gazing towards the east for advice may be a good idea here.

Sitting in traffic smoking a cigarette and drinking a coffee are three roads that will surely lead to a heart attack if that pattern is kept up for a prolonged period of time, so watch yourselves. If your diet contains high cholesterol foods, you need to exercise to compensate for the damage you have just done.

Keeping your body in balance will keep your heart beating long into your life.

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