NEWS

Avoid worry, learn to exercise and relax

Is it true that you tell your patients to eat fruit, vegetables, poultry and fish – that is, «whatever swims or flies»? Many researchers claim that three oranges a day, or the juice of three oranges, give you enough to fight bad cholesterol, or to prevent its harmful oxidization. Greece is rich in this sort of food, which should be combined with physical exercise, fresh air and proper living conditions. The goal is to maintain a normal body weight, with a waistline of less than 80 cm for women and 94 cm for men, and with normal blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Fish oil truly works miracles for arteries. Just 70 grams of fish a day, as part of a Mediterranean diet, can radically reduce heart attacks over a period of four years, as the Lyons study has shown. It is the polyunsaturated fatty acid in fish, Omega-3, that prevents a buildup of plaque in the arteries and likely protects the heart from arrhythmia. On the other hand, fats in cheese and meat are saturated and should only be eaten occasionally and in small quantities. Omega-3 fats are abundant in fish such as sardines, tuna and trout. People with high cholesterol levels should also go easy on dairy products, and choose those with just 2 percent fat. How many meals should we eat each day? Three – breakfast, lunch and dinner. We need these three meals and we need to eat them sitting down calmly at a well-laid table with people we know. Is it easy for city-dwellers to exercise? There is always the opportunity to walk. It has been shown that people who give up walking, even just a little, have twice the number of heart attacks as others. If you walk slowly, even just one kilometer in 20 minutes, it is enough. Even better if you can walk three to five kilometers a day, three or four times a week. Then you are clearly on the way to preventing arteriosclerosis. Of course, after a few weeks, if you can walk a kilometer in 12 minutes, it is even better. The cheapest cure for coronary disease is exercise. Apart from anything else, it is therapeutic for arrhythmia and palpitations, it benefits the nervous system and generally cures various disturbances. You can really see what a miracle exercise is for the obese. We know that obese people die at a generally younger age. The people we see around us who are over 80 or 90 are thin and «tough.» Nevertheless, if an obese person decides to exercise, even if they do not lose weight, their risk of coronary disease drops by half. Something is better than nothing, more is better than something. People should make a program and implement it immediately, but carefully at first. How dangerous is stress? Acute stress causes palpitations, just as in the 800-meter race in the Olympics. In a car race, the heartbeat of a driver ranges between 190 and 210 a minute, over a period of over two hours. In a situation like this, one can have stomach arrhythmias, coronary spasms, and the endothelium can deteriorate, leading to dramatic consequences. But chronic stress also creates problems, for example, in employees who are expected to do a great deal without being part of the decision-making process or are paid very little. When negative factors accumulate, coronary disease is more frequent. Chronic irritation leads to heightened blood pressure, more smoking, uncontrolled appetite. You don’t walk, you don’t sleep. What about social life? According to research, people who are isolated have twice or three times as many heart attacks. A friend, a marriage, are good for you. Of course, by this we mean married life as a haven, not one that leads to more problems.