know two numbers by heart

By tom rath

Despite the fact heart disease kills millions worldwide every year, it is one of the most preventable ailments ever studied.

A landmark international study dubbed Inter- heart compared people on every continent who suffered a heart attack with a similar number of relatives who did not. After studying more than 15,000 people across continents, this study determined that about 90 percent of the risk associated with a heart attack is within your control.

High cholesterol, blood pressure, physical activity, smoking, and diet all have a profound influence on the likelihood of developing heart disease. The most important thing is to prevent a heart attack before it occurs. Once you’ve had a heart attack, the odds of dying in the next year soar. In the year following a recognized heart attack, 25 percent of men and 38 percent of women will die. This is why you need to get ahead of your heart health before it is too late.

Start by knowing two fundamental metrics: your cholesterol and your blood pressure. As one article put it, knowing these numbers “is as fundamental to heart health as knowing the alphabet is to reading.” With cholesterol, look at the balance of good (HDL) versus bad (LDL) metrics in particular, as total cholesterol can be misleading.


1. Replace sweet and fried foods with healthier spices and flavors.

2. Make activity your first line of defense before you resort to pain killers or other medications.

3. Know your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If you don’t know these numbers, check them in the next month. Then retest at least once per year.

Categories: Wellness

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By tom rath

Tom Rath is an author and researcher who studies the role of human behavior in business, health, and well-being. He has written five New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers over the past decade including his most recent book, Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Shape Your Work and Well-being. Tom serves as a senior scientist for and advisor to Gallup, where he previously spent thirteen years leading the organization’s work on employee engagement, strengths, leadership, and well-being. He is also a scientific advisor to Welbe. Developed by O.C. Tanner, Welbe uses apps and wearable technology to improve health and well-being in the workplace.