Law enforcement professionals and first responders are at an increased risk when it comes to heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, police officers face up to a 70% higher risk of heart attack while in stressful situations than the rest of the population. The same study found that sudden cardiac death accounted for 10% of all U.S. on-duty police deaths.
While these numbers are staggering, they reveal that there is a serious problem when it comes to members of law enforcement as it relates to their cardiovascular health. The dangers of deadly myocardial infarctions are very real, so taking the proper steps to lower these numbers and fight these statistics is key.
Maintaining Optimal Weight
Excess weight and heart attacks are certainly linked. Being overweight not only raises your cholesterol levels, but also can increase your blood pressure to dangerous levels, resulting in coronary heart disease. Carrying excess weight strains your heart, making you more susceptible to dangerous and potentially deadly heart attacks.
Maintaining an optimal weight is one of the best ways to increase heart health and prevent heart attacks. By determining your current metabolic rate, you can successfully determine an exercise and diet plan that allows you to loose weight in a safe and effective way. Losing extra weight will make you feel great and reduce your risk of heart attack.
Although cigarettes contain chemicals that are incredibly addictive, kicking this habit is key when it comes to increasing your overall heart health. While smoking is bad for nearly every organ in your body, it carries special risks for your heart and arteries. Regular smoking can lead to atherosclerosis and peripheral artery disease, which causes plaque to build up and harden within the arteries, limiting the flow of blood and oxygen to and from the heart.
Clogged arteries paired with high cholesterol levels are a recipe for disaster when it comes to heart health. Quitting smoking is a great first step when it comes to reducing your risk of heart attack and other coronary diseases. While difficult, it could be what saves your life.
Both aerobic and dynamic resistance exercise have been show to effectively lower blood pressure levels, which leads to a decreased risk of heart attack. Studies have revealed that even moderate exercise can lead to nearly a 30% reduction of coronary heart related issues. While it can be hard to incorporate exercise into your everyday routine, just a half hour of exercise 3-4 times a week can make a significant difference when it comes to lowering your risk of heart attacks.
With the number of life-threatening issues that police officers face while on the job, a heart attack may be far from your mind. However, officers are 25 times more likely to die of a myocardial infarction than die in the line of duty. This means that cardiovascular health should always be a priority and officers should always be working to prevent heart attacks and other heart related issues.