Helping the American Heart Association Spread Awareness
Our hearts perform the vital and often thankless job of pumping life sustaining blood and oxygen throughout our bodies with every beat. For the average American, that will happen 2 billion+ times throughout their lives.
Unfortunately, many of us take our heart health for granted and cut millions of potential beats out of its lifespan, along with all of the wonderful moments that can accompany them. According to the American Heart Association, a staggering 48% of Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death on the planet.
Clearly, too many people aren’t doing enough to safeguard their most precious organ from damage and premature failure. The good news is that it’s never too late to start says Lindsay Guion, the founder, chairman and CEO of GUION PARTNERS, a global talent management group that helps athletes, entertainers, tech moguls, and others with their marketing, distribution, and social media initiatives, among other things.
Guion, who witnessed the devastating effects of heart disease within his own family but has also seen the body’s miraculous capability to rejuvenate itself when given the opportunity, shares a few of the simplest and most effective ways that Americans can bolster their heart health and add many heartbeats and years to their lives.
Lower Your Non-HDL Cholesterol Levels
Having high non-HDL cholesterol levels is one of the leading indicators of arterial plaque and heart disease risk. It is most frequently caused by poor diet (especially foods high in saturated fats and simple carbs) and lack of exercise.
The solution is of course to do the opposite: eat well and exercise. Among the heart healthy, good cholesterol (HDL) foods that Lindsay Guion recommends are nuts, fish, brown rice, avocados, and olive oil. The long-time music industry executive also has a soft spot for black eyed peas.
Lose Some (or All) of Those Stubborn Extra Pounds
Poor diet and lack of exercise are also culprits for another leading cause of heart disease, which is carrying around excess weight. Belly fat is particularly problematic even in people who are otherwise relatively fit, as it triggers the release of harmful chemicals that can lead to chronic inflammation, which can itself cause heart disease.
Improving your diet doesn’t have to require a major overhaul. Lindsay Guion preaches that one of the best ways to cut calories and shed pounds is simply to add a little more fat and fiber to your diet. Doing so boosts your feeling of satiety (how full you feel), making you naturally inclined to eat less.
Manage Your Stress Levels
High levels of stress can hit your heart with a one-two combo in that it will not only raise your blood pressure, but could also cause you to seek out other heart disease-causing comforts to combat it, like cigarettes, junk food, and/or a sedentary Netflix binge on the sofa (or all three at once).
Instead of relying on smokes or chocolate to calm yourself, Lindsay Guion says you should turn to healthier alternatives like meditation, yoga, or exercise. Chewing gum is another great option to lower stress while at the same time keeping your mouth too busy to stuff junk into.
Netflix isn’t all bad either in small doses. Laughter is certainly a major stress buster and Netflix is loaded with comedy movies and series, as well as standup sets from some of the world’s most hilarious comedians.