The Key to a Healthy Heart

by | Jan 31, 2004 | Woman

Most women I meet, if asked about their greatest health concern, would probably name breast cancer as the malady they most fear. But though breast cancer might generate a more passionate reaction than heart disease, the truth of the matter is this: More women in the United States die each year from heart disease than from all cancers combined.

One out of five women in this country has some form of cardiovascular disease. It is the leading cause of death in American women, claiming more than half a million lives annually.

And it’s no longer considered an older woman’s disease. Even though women typically don’t show signs of heart disease until their 60s (roughly 10 years later than men), about 9,000 women each year under age 45 experience a heart attack.

In addition to the age at onset, there are other things that distinguish heart disease in women from heart disease in men. Women tend to do worse after their first heart attack. Forty-two percent of women who have a heart attack will die within the first year as compared to 24 percent of men.

Heart disease often goes unrecognized in women. The symptoms may be unusual, ignored or attributed to something less serious, such as indigestion. And many women don’t experience any symptoms at all prior to having their first heart attack.

I’m not telling you all this because I want to leave you worried and apprehensive; but I do want to stir up in you a desire to modify your lifestyle so that your risk of developing heart disease is lowered.

Our lifestyles play a major role in our health and longevity. In America, 300,000 deaths each year are related to improper diet and inadequate exercise. If you add the deaths attributable to smoking, alcohol, illicit drugs and sexual indiscretion, the number becomes astonishing.

Lifestyle is such a major factor in heart disease that an estimated 80 percent of cases are linked directly to unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits. Solomon said, “Where there is no guidance, the people fall” (Prov. 11:14, NASB).

But when it comes to health, too many of us are falling, even in the face of reliable and readily available guidance. Information on health abounds and is more accessible now than at any other time in our history.

Medical research has increased the level of understanding for not only physicians and other health care providers but also the general public. Television, newspapers, magazines and the Internet provide a never-ending flow of data on health-related topics. The information is there; we’re just not implementing it.

Of course, not everyone who suffers from a heart attack or finds himself in need of bypass surgery can shoulder the entire blame for his situation. Certainly there are people who have a predisposition to heart disease that is totally beyond their control.

But in spite of the fact that some of us are in a position to change our risk for disease through modifying our behavior, too many (born-again believers included) are simply not taking any tangible steps toward change.

Making Healthy Choices  

So what are some ways to lower your risk? The majority of risk factors for heart disease can be positively modified through lifestyle changes. Only one risk factor—having a genetic predisposition—is completely beyond our control.

Other risk factors include tobacco use, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, all of which are influenced by the way we live.

Besides cigarette smoking and a family history of heart disease, all the risk factors listed above are impacted by our eating and exercise habits. As I mentioned before, poor diet and a lack of exercise are the cause of 300,000 deaths each year. Even if a risk factor cannot be entirely eliminated by practicing healthier habits (there are plenty of people, for instance, who diligently follow a low-salt diet but still have high blood pressure), lifestyle modification is still recommended and is highly beneficial.

Lifestyle modification may also impact a risk factor I haven’t yet mentioned—an unhealthy emotional state. The scientific community continues to confirm what the Bible has taught us all along: There’s a compelling link between negative emotions such as anger, anxiety and hostility and an increased risk for heart disease.

The connection between heart failure and anger is especially strong. Anger and hostility evoke physiological responses in our bodies that are potentially life-threatening.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Following are snippets of the top stories posted on charismamag.com over the past week. We encourage you to visit the links to read the stories in full. Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven? Is it possible that behind the pearly gates of heaven there are...

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

This month we are entering a season which, in the United States, has been devoted to gratitude and thanksgiving for 400 years! While the Thanksgiving holiday has had a long and varied history within the United States, the practice of devoting sacrificial offerings,...

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

My frequent trips to developing nations always help me adjust my attitude. Just when I start to feel spoiled and entitled, I meet people from places like Congo, India and Honduras—and I realize just how blessed I am. This happened to me again last week during a trip...

The Power of Being Thankful

The Power of Being Thankful

One of the best ways to show God we love Him is to be thankful. When we express our deep gratitude to Him, it actually invites His presence onto our lives. Being thankful also neutralizes the enemy and brings victory into our situations no matter what the outcome....

Get Off Your Pew!

Get Off Your Pew!

As God’s clock inches closer to the final hour before His return, many people find themselves filled with angst, anxiety and despair. People are not sleeping well, many have fallen into depression and are feeling hopeless. These are the very days that we have been...

The Great Commission Can Set Us Free from Responsibility

The Great Commission Can Set Us Free from Responsibility

Read Time: 4 Minutes 28 Seconds While all of the stories we read in the Torah are meaningful, sometimes the events we read about can seem to hold more relevance, especially for those of us who are followers of Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah. One such event is the calling...

RECENT ARTICLES

The Church’s Role in Preserving Freedom of Speech in America

Read Time: 3 Minutes 17 Seconds The controversy surrounding Kyrie Irving and his post of a tweet that claims the Jews in Israel are not the real Jews—that Black Africans are the real Jews—raises...
Count Your Blessings, For God Indeed is Good

Count Your Blessings, For God Indeed is Good

Read Time: 4 Minutes 42 Seconds Thanksgiving Day is just a few days away for U.S. Americans. It is a favorite holiday—perhaps only exceeded by Christmas—to gather with family and friends to watch parades, play (American) “football” and eat delicious food—often from...

Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFbfS03JkKY&t=1s Read Time: 3 Minutes, 10 Seconds Is it possible that behind the pearly gates of heaven there are murderers, pedophiles and cannibals walking along the streets of gold? We are taught in the book of Romans, "That if...

Pin It on Pinterest