In our field, medicine—which affects us all, really—some exciting things are on the horizon. Some of them could change your life.
For example, a recent study examined the 80% of DNA that wasn’t well understood and found that this “junk DNA” wasn’t junk at all. In fact, it can control which of your genes are turned “on” or “off.”
Why does this matter? Imagine being able to turn “off” the gene that causes you to produce the waste proteins in your brain that can lead to memory loss. Voila! Healthier brains and better memories with the flip of a switch.
It may take ten years or more before we know how to turn on good genes and turn off bad ones. While we wait, we can take action on four factors that cause over 50% of heart attacks and strokes.
1. Kiss Your Butt Goodbye
Ugh, tobacco. This gross habit is still the leading cause of heart disease and strokes (not to mention cancer). Kick it!
2. Eat Heart Smart
Donuts, sodas, chili-drenched hot dogs—these foods don’t just add artery-blocking LDL cholesterol to your system. They also stimulate the production of inflammatory proteins that worsen tissue irritation. So avoid simple carbs, added sugars, syrups, and saturated and trans fat.
3. Get Your Clothes Wet
Cardio exercise lowers your blood pressure and makes your blood vessels more elastic—both wins for heart health. Daily walking for 30 minutes and three 20-minute cardio sessions weekly is a good start.
4. Stress Less
Stress is nearly as strong a contributor to heart attacks and cancer as tobacco. Exercise and meditation can help you manage stress by causing the release of feel-good endorphins in your brain.