Heart Disease is a Leading Cause of Death

by Kevin on January 10, 2013

If you think that cancer is the number one killer, you would be right. Certainly, there is a lot of information in the media about this devastating disease. You may be surprised to learn, though, that cancer has only recently made it to the top of the list of causes of death. Heart disease was the reigning number one killer for a many years, and is still a very serious health concern.

What is Heart Disease?

Heart disease is not a single medical condition, but rather a term that describes several conditions that have a negative effect on the heart muscle and how it functions. The HeartMart website describes most of the common conditions – take a visit! What you learn might help save your life or the life of a loved one.

Factors that Contribute to Heart Disease

A number of factors have a hand in your likelihood of developing heart disease.

  1. Genetics

You have absolutely no control over your family history, but it is a major heart disease risk factor. If a close relative has had heart disease, you have a greater chance of developing this condition yourself. That doesn’t mean you should throw up your hands and conclude that there is nothing you can do. An increased risk is not a sure thing and if you focus on the things you can control (level of physical activity, diet and being a non-smoker), you may go through life without developing heart disease at all.

  1. Smoking

Cigarette smoking is an extremely hard habit to break. The nicotine contained in cigarettes is a highly-addictive substance. When a smoker takes a drag off a cigarette, they experience a rush from the nicotine within a few seconds, and this is what the nicotine addict craves.

  1. Obesity

Obesity is another condition that increases a person’s risk of developing heart disease, and unfortunately, it is on the rise in the United States.


Obesity is defined as weighing 30 percent or more above the recommended weight standards for an individual’s height.

In your quest to lessen your risk of developing heart disease, it’s important to keep your cholesterol levels down to the recommended range. If you have been told by your doctor that you have high cholesterol, you can try to control your condition by making changes to your diet. Medications may be prescribed to regulate your cholesterol levels as well.

The best things you can do for yourself when trying to prevent heart disease is to eat well and be physically active. A balanced diet that includes a variety of foods will help you look and feel better. You do need some fat in your diet, so don’t think that by eliminating all fats that you are going to lessen your risk of developing heart disease. Regular exercise helps to strengthen the heart muscle and burns fat, too.

Keep an eye on the HeartMart blog and plan on visiting regularly. We will be posting healthy diet plans for you to follow, along with suggestions for exercise routines you may want to try. Other posts will deal with how to determine whether you are at risk for developing heart disease.

Resistance Band Exercises for Upper Body

by Jodee on May 10, 2011

Resistance bands are a popular and effective choice for people who want to stay fit. These flexible pieces of latex or synthetic materials are available with and without a handle. Available in different strengths, they are used to develop strength and flexibility.

For people who are traveling for business or pleasure, choosing exercise bands to work out with is a great choice. They are lightweight and fit easily into a suitcase without adding a lot of bulk like trying to pack free weights would.

When using exercise bands for an upper body workout, be sure to move slowly and throughout the movement. Your goal is to control the movement as you are pulling on the resistance band and releasing it. Once you have some experience using resistance bands for fitness, consider working with a shorter section of band to get a higher level of tension throughout the range of movement.

Resistance Band Exercises for Biceps and Triceps

A basic exercise that you can start with is a simple bicep curl. Start by positioning the band under your feet and holding one end in each hand. At the beginning of the movement, your arms should be held down at your sides. Pull your arms up toward your shoulders and slowly lower them again.

When working out, it’s important to work both sides of a muscle and performing a triceps extension exercise is a good addition to your exercise band workout routine. The first step is to attach the middle of the band to a high object. Grasp an end of the band in each hand; elbows should be bent and parallel to the floor. While keeping the upper arm still, straighten the elbows until the arms are fully extended. Move your arms back to the starting position, taking care not to use a jerky motion.

An overhead tricep extension is another option for an upper body workout with exercise bands. To start, step onto one end of the resistance band and grasp the other end firmly in one hand. Position your arm so that the elbow is pointed toward the ceiling and your hand is behind you. Slowly straighten your elbow and raise your hand until it is pointed toward the ceiling. Once the arm has been fully extended, slowly bring it back to the starting position.

These resistance bands exercises will help you to tone your arms, shoulders and upper back. They can be part of an overall fitness workout that you can perform in your home or at the gym.

How to Choose Resistance Bands for Exercise

Using resistance bands for fitness are a great choice. They are reasonably priced, portable and can be used for strength training as well as stretching exercises. Incorporating resistance bands into your fitness routine is a great choice, since the level of resistance can be adjusted very easily. Using them means you can change your usual […]

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Resistance Bands for Strength Training

Choosing resistance bands for strength training is a way to add some variety to your fitness routine. If you are looking for a piece of exercise equipment that is budget-friendly and can be used for a number of different types of exercise, then the resistance band may be the right choice for you. A resistance […]

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Elliptical Trainer vs. Treadmill: How to Choose

If you are looking for a piece of exercise equipment that will give you a good cardiovascular workout, the elliptical trainer and the treadmill can help you get the results you are looking for. Which one is the best choice? There are advantages to choosing each piece of equipment, and the best one for you […]

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Elliptical Trainer Basics

Are you interested in getting an all-over aerobic workout? The elliptical trainer is a great choice for people who want to get the benefits of cardio exercise without putting excessive stress on the back, legs and knees. Weight-bearing exercise, which is performed while standing up, is important for bone health. Girls and women are encouraged […]

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Treadmill or Exercise Bike: Which Workout is Best?

Cycling and walking or jogging are all popular forms of exercise and they can be performed by healthy people at any level of fitness. A person who is trying to adopt an active lifestyle to improve overall health can start off slowly and increase the length and intensity of the workout over time. Choosing to […]

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Exercise Equipment: the Dual Action Exercise Bike

If you like the idea of using an exercise bike for fitness but you also want to get an all-over workout, consider trying a dual action exercise bike. This type of model works your legs in the same way that any other stationary bike does, but it also allows you to move your arms at […]

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Exercise Equipment: the Exercise Bike

An exercise bike can be a great choice for people who want to stay active. A person can buy one to be part of his or her home gym equipment, or they are readily available at most health clubs or at the gym. A program of regular exercise provides a number of health benefits, including […]

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How to Choose a Home Gym

If you are considering buying a home gym, you have a number of options available. To find the one that is going to work well for you, take the time to consider how much space you have available in your home for exercise equipment. Other important factors include the types of exercises you plan to […]

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