Heart attacks are a major cause of death in truck drivers. Coronary Artery Disease(CAD) is the most common form of heart disease. This is caused by the buildup of plaque in the inside layers of the arteries. As a result of this blockage, the blood flow will slow down and the muscles will not get a sufficient supply of blood. The plaque also weakens the arterial wall which could lead to a crack and the formation of blood clot. The blood clot and blockage in the arteries is what often leads to heart attacks.
Truck drivers can take steps to stay healthy and possibly avoid having a heart attack. The top 10 ways to prevent a heart attack are as follows:
1. Avoid Smoking
Smokers experience a high degree of cardiovascular deaths. Tobacco consists of many harmful chemicals. These chemicals can damage your blood cells. They can also damage blood vessels. This damage increases your risk of atherosclerosis. Another reason is that the nicotine in the cigarette promotes insulin resistance which is a pre-diabetic condition that raises blood sugar levels higher than normal. It is well known that people with pre-diabetes are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
A sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor for heart disease. Exercise helps blood circulation. This helps you to feel more energetic. It is important to establish an exercise regimen long before any signs of heart disease occur. Strive to exercise a minimum of 30 minutes daily or at least 5 days per week. Exercise should be a lifelong habit.
3. Heart healthy diet
It is wise to reduce consumption of saturated foods and foods high in trans fat. This can include foods like French fries, potato chips, fried meats, etc. Reduce the consumption of carbohydrates which include baked goods like cookies, cakes, pies, white bread.
Certain foods promote heart health. This includes onions and avocados which protect the arteries and reduce artherosclerosis. Garlic has natural anti-inflammatory properties which are known to prevent blood clots and improve overall heart health. Aged garlic supplements are also available. Celery is a vegetable which is high in nutrients and minerals. It contains potassium, magnesium and calcium which work to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of a heart attack.
4. Maintain a healthy weight
It important to maintain a healthy weight because excess weight can contribute to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. These are important factors in developing heart disease. Additionally, weight gain in adults is primarily fat, not muscle
5. Reduce blood cholesterol
Foods high in saturated fat and trans fat increase the level of cholesterol in the body and also cause excess calories. This leads to overweight issues and increases blood cholesterol levels.
6. Avoid or control hypertension
Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. This is a condition which creates abnormally high blood pressure in blood vessels which causes the heart muscle to thicken because it must pump harder to compensate for the high blood pressure. This decreases the hearts ability to pump blood. It is this loss of function which can lead to a heart attack.
7. Manage stress levels
It is important to manage stress levels because stress can increase the risk of a heart attack. It can also cause high blood pressure and increase heart rate. Unmanaged stress can contribute to wright gain and lead to anxiety and depression. All of these factors can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Yoga is an ancient Indian practice. The word “yoga” comes from a Sanskrit term which means union. It aims to join body, mind, and the day to day challenges of life into one unified experience rather than separate. Yoga improves the body’s strength and flexibility. This in turn helps control blood pressure respiration, heart and metabolic rates. Yoga also aids in coping with stress and anxiety which also contribute to heart disease.
Meditation is an ancient art of calming the mind. Indian healers have been teaching about meditation benefits for centuries. Current medical research has proven that medication can indeed help the body from developing stress related illnesses including heart disease.
10. Get regular health screenings
Seeing your physician for regular health screenings can actually save your life. Regular check-ups by your primary care physician can allow them to monitor your health over time. This allows them to notice any changes in your body that might require further attention. They will also check cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure. They can refer you to a cardiologist when they believe it is necessary. If you have any risk factors you can work on a plan with your physician to lower them and thereby decrease your risk of having a heart attack. Don’t put off seeing your physician. You might save your own life.