A large and significant component of your client’s wellness is their cardiovascular health. Part of being an informed wellness coach includes being able to describe the anatomy and functions of the cardiovascular system.
You should be able to also identify any risk factors for the client including coronary heart disease and discuss ways to reduce them. Once you have begun working with clients, you will see those lifestyle behaviors tend to contribute to cardiovascular risk factors as much as they do to healthy living and longevity.
Understand that cardiovascular disease has, within it, a sub-group of diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels in general.
Cardiovascular disease – the leading cause of death still in the United States – accounts for nearly 40% of all deaths in the US. Furthermore, about 25% of Americans (approximately 64,000,000 people) have one or more forms of heart disease or blood vessel disease.
Therefore it is likely you will coach clients who have some form of CV disease.
More specifically, coronary heart disease is just one type of heart disease, but it produces about half of all heart disease cases in those people aged 75 or younger. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is still the leading cause of death among both men and women.
There is a transitional trend with CHD and women lagging behind men about 10 years from onset. Over the past 3 to 4 decades the number of females dying from heart disease, in general, has begun to inch up toward the rate seen in males. In fact, with advancing age, mortality rates between the two genders begin to equalize. Remember, our statistics come from the United States of America.
Although still a significant problem in the United States, the death rate from heart disease has steadily declined in the past 50 years.
Technology has led to improvements in life expectancy, meaning that people need to be well for a longer period of time, when their health may be weak from aging or at a time when an aging person is managing chronic conditions from lifestyle factors in their past.
The newest research has begun to convince professionals in the field that following a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle can significantly lower your client’s risk for heart disease.
In addition to evidence seen in the research, the medical profession has proven that after-the-fact treatments have equally contributed to the downward trend and the death rate from cardiovascular disease, through the development and use of sophisticated diagnostic procedures.
Understanding Forms of Heart Disease
When most people think of heart disease, they think of coronary artery disease, or CAD (narrowing of the arteries leading to the heart). CAD is just one type of heart disease. Other forms of Heart Disease include:
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD): CAD is atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries that provide vital oxygen and nutrients to the heart.
Abnormal Heart Rhythms: Sometimes your heart gets out of rhythm. An irregular or abnormal heartbeat is called arrhythmia or dysrhythmia. This condition causes a change in the heart’s rhythm, producing a very slow or very fast heartbeat.
Heart Failure: This does not mean the heart has “failed” or stopped working. Rather, the heart does not pump as well as it should.
Heart Valve Disease (HVD): Your heart valves lie at the exit of each of the four heart chambers and maintain one-way blood flow through your heart. HVD is a condition in which your heart valves do not work correctly.
Congenital Heart Disease: Congenital heart disease is a type of defect in one or more structures of the heart or blood vessels that occur before birth.
Cardiomyopathies: Cardiomyopathies are diseases of the heart muscle itself. They often lead to heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms.
Pericarditis: Pericarditis is inflammation of the lining that surrounds the heart. It is a rare condition often caused by an infection.
Preventing Heart Disease
Heart disease may be a leading cause of death, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept it as your fate. Although you lack the power to change some risk factors — such as family history, sex or age — there are some key heart disease prevention steps you can take to reduce your risk.
1. Don’t smoke or use tobacco
Smoking or using tobacco of any kind is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease. Chemicals in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to narrowing of the arteries due to plaque buildup (atherosclerosis). Atherosclerosis can ultimately lead to a heart attack
2. Exercise for about 30 minutes on most days of the week
Getting some regular, daily exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease. And when you combine physical activity with other lifestyle measures, such as maintaining a healthy weight, the payoff is even greater.
3. Eat a heart-healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet can reduce your risk of heart disease. Two examples of heart-healthy food plans include the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan and the Mediterranean diet.
4. Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight — especially if you carry excess weight around your middle — increases your risk of heart disease. Excess weight can lead to conditions that increase your chances of heart disease — including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
5. Get enough quality sleep
Sleep deprivation can do more than leave you yawning throughout the day; lack of quality sleep can harm your health. People who don’t get enough sleep have a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes, and depression.
You can avoid heart problems in the future by adopting a healthy lifestyle today.
Your Coaching Career
Becoming a Certified Wellness Coach is the perfect addition for the fitness professional who wants to offer more all-inclusive wellness services to clients. The time is now for you to enjoy this exciting and rewarding career, which offers you personal fulfillment while improving the lives of others.
If you are passionate about helping people and living a fulfilling life, we can help you achieve your dreams right now. The Life Strategies Coaching Certification Course combines the latest advancements in human potential and neuroscience with proven methods of success used by the world’s most productive people.
Spencer Institute certification programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
That’s it for now.