Health combats a leading cause of death in U.S.

With absence the heart grows fonder. But with good nutrition and exercise, it grows healthier.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

David Wheeler, a health and wellness specialist at Premier Fitness, encourages the community to make short-term goals to quit smoking and drinking and doing healthier things to build a better heart.

“The biggest cause of heart disease is atherosclerosis, which is the depositing of fatty and waxy substances, cholesterol and fats on the lining of the walls of the arteries,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler said smoking, poor diet and a diet high in the wrong kinds of fats, such as saturated fats, fats from an animal source and also tropical oils, are all causes of heart disease.

Wheeler, who has been a certified personal fitness trainer for more than 30 years, has contributed to his clients by saving their lives.

Wendy Dunn, a Tallahassee resident, said that if it weren’t for Wheeler, she probably wouldn’t be alive today.

“I suffered from a heart attack five years ago, and luckily I survived,” Dunn said.

Dunn said her doctor recommended she change her eating habits and begin working out or else she would die. Dunn did some research to find the best trainer she could and found Wheeler through a close friend.

Since 2009, Dunn has lost more than 50 pounds and feels healthier than ever. She said she is happiest that she is still alive to see her first grandchild.

Wheeler also hosts lunch and learns every week to speak to citizens about their health issues. He provides tips and his personal strategies that participants can use every day.

“I always tell my clients and lunch and learn participants to set their goals, see their goals and reach their goal,” Wheeler said.

Samantha Mountain, a Tallahassee resident who attends Wheeler’s lunch and learns, said Wheeler is informative.

“I always learn a lot about how to set my fitness goals and make sure that they happen,” Mountain said.

Mountain said everything she has learned from Wheeler has made a big impact on her life and as long as she follows his steps everything seems to work.

“I began to workout at Premier on my own for a couple of weeks, and that’s when I started seeing results,” Mountain said.

These health and nutrition lunch and learns are held throughout the Tallahassee area. Individuals who attend a one-hour lunch and learn are guaranteed to receive a one-week workout pass at Premier Fitness.