While cremation services are offered in Adelphi, MD, we hope we don’t have to provide them for you or any of your family members for a long time. However, the American lifestyle is a major factor in the development of heart disease, and heart disease is the top cause of deaths in the United States.
Two-thirds of heart-related deaths are attributable to coronary heart disease; the other one-third of heart-related deaths are the result of congestive heart failure, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease, and pulmonary heart disease.
Heart disease can strike at any time, and many people die prematurely from heart disease. However, in most cases, heart disease is preventable.
Americans do a lot of talking about healthy lifestyles. Advertising is full of health-related messages that portray Americans exercising a lot, eating healthy diets, and getting quality sleep (all things that are related to heart health).
However, in reality, most Americans have a very unhealthy lifestyle. Our lives have become so fast-paced and so filled up that we literally don’t have time to exercise regularly. We could make the time, but that would require giving up something else, and most Americans aren’t willing to make that sacrifice.
Exercise is good for the heart. If we can get 150 minutes of exercise – whether that consists of vigorous walks around the neighborhood, riding our bikes with our children, or gardening and doing yardwork (using, for example, a push mower instead of a riding mower to do the grass) – each week, we can strength our hearts (the heart is a muscle) and we can increase its effectiveness and efficiency in pumping blood throughout our bodies.
Our busy lifestyles also mean that we eat, in most cases, very poorly. Until the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, many Americans either ate highly-processed foods, fast food, or food prepared in restaurants.
The excuse for our poor diets has always been that we don’t have enough time to shop for fresh foods and then to prepare them at home. Again, Americans have the time, but it requires them to eliminate something else they’d rather do.
Coronary heart disease is often a direct result of poor diets. The coronary arteries get clogged up with plaque, slowing or eliminating (in some cases) blood flowing to the heart. Most people suffer a heart attack before they are diagnosed with coronary heart disease.
If they survive, stents are placed in the arteries to reopen them for effective blood flow to the heart. In severe blockages, bypasses may be performed to get enough blood flowing to the heart.
Most people in the United States don’t get enough sleep, and when they do sleep, they sleep poorly. One reason is because of our busyness. The most restorative sleep (and the one that cleans out brain toxins, such as tau and beta amyloids, which are key proteins involved in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease) we can get is deep sleep.
However, our busyness creates stress in our lives and stress disrupts our sleep. We either toss and turn much of the time we are supposed to be sleeping (restless sleep), we’re wide awake several times when we go to sleep, or we spend a lot of time in REM sleep (where dreams occur) trying to work through the stress of our waking hours.
The result is very little sleep and very poor quality sleep. This in turn places stress on the heart and can lead to the development of heart disease.