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  Lifestyle and Heart Disease

While genetics plays a huge part in your risk of developing heart disease, the role of lifestyle and its influence on whether or not you develop heart disease is undeniable. People with a genetic predisposition to heart disease who do not practice a healthy lifestyle are more apt to develop the disease than those who take care of themselves.

Heart diseases like coronary artery disease, for example, are caused by blockages in the arteries. These blockages are often caused by high amounts of bad cholesterol, which accumulates within the arteries and gathers on the arterial walls, causing them to harden and reducing blood flow to the heart. While the amount of cholesterol you carry is genetically influenced, your choice of lifestyle plays a major part in increasing or decreasing your cholesterol levels and thus your risk of heart disease. People with a pre-disposition to high cholesterol should consult their doctor about taking a cholesterol reducing medication along with pursuing a healthy diet and exercise.

People who are overweight are also more likely to develop heart disease, so it is especially important to establish a good exercise routine. Your exercise routine should include a moderate amount of exercise each day. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to hit the gym for a couple of hours to stay fit. You can get small amounts of exercise throughout the day simply by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking your car a few spaces further down than you normally would, or taking the dogs for a stroll around the block. All of these forms of exercise add up to a healthier heart. It is important as well to get a moderate amount of time throughout the week of cardiac activity. This can be accomplished by playing frisbee, going for a swim, or taking a hike. Enjoying a more healthy lifestyle does not have to be a hard task for those who are willing to undertake it.

There are certainly other lifestyle factors which can influence your risk of heart disease. Smoking plays a large part in whether or not people with a pre-disposition to heart disease will develop it.