Nelson Mandela once said: "A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination." He has both. Well, here's the knowledge you need (a good head) to make sure your cardiovascular system (a good heart) stays healthy for decades more!
Unfortunately, ever more folks have high levels of lousy LDL cholesterol (more than 71 million North American adults), are overweight or obese (67 percent of adults) and have hypertension (33 percent of folks 20 and over). Almost 105 million have prediabetes or diabetes. These are huge risk factors for heart disease.
But you can defuse your potential heart problems. Here are our 7 Steps to Heart Health. They'll also improve your love life and brain function and reduce cancer risks.
1. Don't smoke and avoid secondhand smoke; people who do have 20 percent to 40 percent fewer heart events over two years.
2. Do whatever it takes to get your blood pressure to 115/75.
3. Keep your waist measurement to less than half your height.
4. Manage stress with meditation.
5. Adopt good heart and brain nutrition: Avoid saturated and trans fats, all added sugars and sugar syrups, and any grain that isn't 100 percent whole.
6. Get active: Your heart will love 10,000 steps daily; 30 minutes of resistance exercise weekly; 20 minutes of cardio three times a week.
7. Consider a supplement regimen: a statin and 200 milligrams CoQ10 daily, along with two baby aspirins with half a glass of warm water before and after (ask your doc); plus 1,000 IU of vitamin D-3 and 420 milligrams of purified omega-7 a day.
THIS IS YOUR MIGRAINE ON SEX
If you have a migraine, or you feel one coming on, you can reduce your discomfort by:
a) taking a medication your doctor has prescribed;
b) finding a cool, dark, quiet place to lie down until it passes;
c) having sex (an orgasm is key);
d) all of the above.
And the right answer is (drum roll, please) ... d) all of the above.
A: If you're a migraine sufferer, see a doctor — only about 50 percent of people who have these life-stopping headaches regularly do. Doctors may suggest a non-drug approach (relaxation therapy, stress-management and acupuncture are some), Botox, migraine relievers or preventive drugs and anti-nausea medications.
B: If you do sense a migraine coming on (you may experience an aura and feel dizzy, hear a ringing in your ears, have light sensitivity or even hallucinations) get thee to a cool, dark, quiet place. And that sets you up for our third suggestion!
C: New research finds that making love can be a more effective migraine reliever than painkillers (more than half of folks said it provided significant relief). The theory is that a rush of endorphins or the release of hormones that accompanies orgasm stabilizes or dilates blood vessels — easing discomfort or canceling out migraine pain.
If you're wondering how in the world to make love while you've got a migraine, think about certain Latin-sounding words that also refer to love-making ... and don't believe Bill Clinton's view on the subject.
For additional helpful tips, check out Sharecare.com's "Top 10 Social HealthMakers on Headaches."
Dr. Mehmet Oz is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Dr. Michael Roizen is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.sharecare.com.