ZEN+ : Simple, Direct, Effective : ZEN+ Benefits

What can you do to avoid the 9 risks of heart disease?

By Marcus Santer

It’s a gorgeous sunny day here in Devon.

I was walking on a hill overlooking the sea with Louis this morning and the view was breath taking.

I had no trouble compiling my gratitude list.

Dropping down onto a country lane Louis and I walked past a gang of blackbirds singing their hearts out.

Blackbird song is one of my favourite sounds.

So we stopped to listen.

Well, I stopped to listen, Louis just kept on sniffing.

If you’re not familiar with their uplifting song you can listen to a short audio of it here on the RSPB website.

Where I also discovered the blackbird has a rather unfortunate latin name: Turdus mercula

Hey it’s never too early for toilet humour =)


Feeling full of joy with my heart smiling Louis and I continued our walk.

We even found a heart (see picture below)


And it got me thinking about a blog post I read over the weekend titled:

The Seven Heart Disease Risk Factors You Can Control.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide [1].

There are nine risk factors.

Two you can do nothing about:

  1. Your age
  2. Your family history

Three can be controlled by medication and lifestyle choices:

  1. High blood pressure – Increased pressure of the blood in your arteries increases your risk for heart disease and stroke. Losing weight and regular exercise can also help to lower blood pressure.
  2. Abnormal cholesterol – It’s a naturally occurring fat in your body. But like everything… Too much is harmful. Losing weight, regular exercise and a healthy diet can help.
  3. Diabetes – A disorder involving elevated blood sugar levels usually caused by too little insulin or insulin resistance. Medicine and diet can help.

Four are called ‘Behavioural Risk Factors’ meaning they’re linked to your lifestyle choices. With the last one being the one most people struggle with.

They are:

  1. Obesity – For every two pounds (0.9kg) you’re over your ideal body weight there’s a 3 percent increase in fatal and non-fatal heart attacks. Additional note: In obese patients, 5 percent weight loss has significant health benefits Initial weight loss lowers risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease [2]
  2. Physical inactivity – The message is loud and clear a sedentary lifestyle can hurt your health
  3. Cigarette smoking – Cigarettes cause heart disease and stroke. If you’re a smoker the best thing you can do to reduce your risk is to stop.
  4. Unhealthy diet – This is the one you’ll probably struggle the most with. If so you’re not alone. Portion sizes have ballooned. In the US ice-cream portion sizes are 40 percent larger than in France, energy dense food is available around the clock

The takeaway message from today’s ZEN+ post?


When it comes to reducing your risk of heart disease there’s a lot you can do to prevent it.

But the best bit is this…

The steps you take to reduce your risk of heart disease are the same steps you can take to reduce your risk of sickness and disease full stop. And these steps are all covered in ZEN+.

In fact the ZEN+ project is a program to help you:

And to help you stack the odds of longer, healthier and happier life in your favour.

Sound good?

It is.

Your next step?

The very best way to get started with the ZEN+ project is right here.

Bye for now


P.S. There are 9 risks associated with heart disease.

And 7 of them are within your direct control.

Let the ZEN+ Project help you.

[1] https://www.bhf.org.uk/publications/statistics/cvd-stats-2015
[2] http://www.cell.com/pb-assets/journals/research/cell-metabolism/on/cmet1985_r.pdf
[3] This is also worth a read: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/129/3/e28.full.pdf