How To Reverse Heart Disease
With over 1.5 million heart attacks every year in the United States alone, learning about how to reverse heart disease is certainly a wise decision. Though both diet and medication can affect heart disease in a number of people, these factors alone are not enough for many others, according to the book, "Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease". What is needed to reverse heart disease, according to Dr. Ornish, is a, "comprehensive lifestyle program" to positively affect risk factors such as cholesterol levels and blood pressure without the use of drugs or surgery. Learn about the steps you can start taking right now to reverse heart disease and avoid the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle.
- Quit smoking. Studies clearly show that smoking increases the risk of heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, there are more than 135,000 fatalities every year in the United States attributable to the cardiovascular effects of smoking. Though withdrawal causes unpleasant symptoms, they generally last only a few days, according to the Tobacco Control Research Branch of the National Cancer Institute.
- Practice good stress management techniques. Stress increases the risk of heart disease long-term. Furthermore, short-term stress directly affects the cardiovascular system. Cholesterol levels rise significantly during times of stress at home, work or school, according to Dr. Ornish. Some examples of good coping techniques include physical activity, especially relaxation and breathing exercises, talking with a counselor, friend or family member, and finding some time for yourself every day in which to relax and unwind.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise lowers the risk of heart disease while strengthening the heart and cardiovascular system. When used as one component in a thorough lifestyle change program, exercise can be a vital part of the overall effort to reverse heart disease.
- Eat a low-fat diet. According to Dr. Ornish, low-fat diets have clearly been shown to reduce heart disease. Those already suffering from heart disease and cardiovascular conditions can find significant improvement with a diet low in saturated fat and other harmful fats. Including healthy fats, especially Omega-3s, in the diet is another step that should be taken by anyone serious about learning to reverse heart disease.
- Incorporate all of these steps into your lifestyle to effectively reverse heart disease. According to Dr. Ornish, including all of these in a comprehensive program is what really makes the difference. Addressing the problem on many fronts not only lowers the level of risk from factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol, but it affects the actual disease process within the cardiovascular system. Ultimately, this is the way to achieve real health and reverse heart disease.
Omish, Dean "Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease: The Only System Scientifically Proven to Reverse Heart Disease Without Drugs or Surgery". Ivy Books, 1996