Today we are busting myths. (See how we avoided copyright infringement there?) Occasionally, someone with more time on their hands than scientific evidence will make an untrue claim that something is (or is not) heart healthy…and then we have to spend a lot of energy setting the record straight. So, let’s set the record straight:
Water and heart attacks: Maybe Facebook is to blame for the rise of a bizarre myth that claims that water can help you avoid hypertension, stroke and heart attacks if you drink it at a certain time during the day. This, of course, is false. The AHA – and every organization that promotes good nutrition – recommends that you drink plenty of water each day, but not to prevent heart attacks. Rather, it’s to promote hydration without adding sugar or calories.
Too young for heart disease: How you live now affects your risk for cardiovascular diseases later in life. As early as childhood and adolescence, plaque can start accumulating in the arteries and later lead to clogged arteries. One in three Americans has cardiovascular disease, but not all of them are senior citizens. Even young and middle-aged people can develop heart problems – especially now that obesity, type 2 diabetes and other risk factors are becoming more common at a younger age. Here in Birmingham, we can list about a dozen survivor volunteers under 25 that we work with on a regular basis.
Exercise after a heart attack: You may think you should avoid exercising after a heart attack? Don’t think that way. As soon as possible, get moving with a plan approved for you! Research shows that heart attack survivors who are regularly physically active and make other heart-healthy changes live longer than those who don’t. People with chronic conditions typically find that moderate-intensity activity is safe and beneficial. The American Heart Association recommends at least two and a half hours of moderate intensity physical activity each week. Find the help you need by joining a cardiac rehabilitation program, or consult your healthcare provider for advice on developing a physical activity plan tailored to your needs.