PHILADELPHIA, PA, August 27, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Jukka T. Salonen
, cardiologist and researcher, has spent years studying the heart. He practices preventative cardiology to help people maintain better health and prevent future problems. Studying the role of genetics in heart conditions is an area that he focuses on. Genetics are only one piece of the puzzle, however. There are controllable factors to improving heart health as well. A recent article
on ABC News reveals simple changes that people can make to help reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.
Doctors are always telling people to eat breakfast for better health. As it turns out, it can impact heart health as well. A nutritious breakfast gives the body the energy it needs to power through the morning. It can also reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Researchers studied the effects of daily breakfast on 26,000 American men over the course of 16 years. They found that those who skipped this essential meal had a 27 percent higher risk of developing coronary heart disease. Even when other risk factors were controlled, the results still held true.
Reducing stress levels is also healthy for the heart. Yoga can prove very beneficial, especially for people who suffer from atrial fibrillation. Studies have found that yoga can also reduce other risk factors for cardiovascular problems such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and blood vessel inflammation. Engaging in yoga or other types of stress-reducing activities can reduce anxiety levels and lower resting heart rates.
When it comes to preventing heart attacks, having close relationships can actually strengthen the heart. According to a 2004 heart study, it can cut the risk of future heart attacks in half for someone who has already suffered from one. Spending time with a loved one can also lower blood pressure. However, people who are in bad relationships actually increase their risk of having heart problems.
Eating a small serving of dark chocolate can prove beneficial to the heart as well. The cocoa is rich in anti-oxidants which may relax blood vessels, lower blood pressure, and control blood sugar. Nutritious salads filled with leafy greens, steamed asparagus or fresh avocado, and almonds or cranberry are also shown to aid in heart health, reducing the risk of heart disease.
Finally people should stay active. A sedentary lifestyle comes with many negative health effects. Taking short breaks to move around and regularly engaging in exercise can have a positive impact on health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease. And at the end of the day, getting between six and eight hours of sleep every night is recommended. Not getting enough sleep can raise blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar, and increase the likelihood of having a stroke, heart attack, or congestive heart failure. Too much sleep can result in chest pain and coronary artery disease.
"People should try to achieve balance in all aspects of their life," says Jukka T. Salonen. "Eating a healthy diet, getting the right amount of sleep, engaging in an active lifestyle, and reducing stress are not only beneficial for heart health, but for overall health as well. You don't have to try to change everything at once either. Making changes over time can help with adjusting your lifestyle to become more heart healthy." Jukka T. Salonen advises people to check with their doctor before changing their diet or exercise routines to ensure their safety.
Jukka T. Salonen is a well-respected medical professional with an extensive educational and professional background. Not only does he have his MD and PhD, he also received his license of medicine from the University of Kuopio, and his Master of Science in public health. He is one of Finland's most cited medical experts and has more than 31,000 citations and 500 scientific publications in cardiovascular molecular and genetic diagnostics, cardiovascular genetics/genomics, and cardiovascular epidemiology and care.