7 Strategies to Prevent Heart Disease

Approximately 82.6 million people in the United States have some form of heart disease. It’s one of the leading causes of death worldwide, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds.

There are ways of preventing this condition, however. Here are some of the most important strategies to consider.

1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

People who are overweight have a higher risk of developing heart disease. Carrying extra weight around the midsection is particularly dangerous, as it can affect the function of the visceral organs.

Furthermore, being overweight puts you at risk of developing conditions that can lead to heart disease, including:

  • High cholesterol
  • Type II diabetes
  • High blood pressure

Losing a few pounds can help decrease your blood sugar levels, as well as the presence of certain fats in your blood.

2. Don’t Smoke or Use Tobacco

The chemicals in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels, while cigarette smoke in particular can reduce the level of oxygen in your blood. Less oxygen means increased blood pressure and heart rate because your heart has to work harder to pump blood through your body.

3. Stay Active

Regular physical activity can help lower your risk of heart disease, as it reduces your chances of developing conditions like high blood pressure and Type II diabetes. The U.S. Surgeon General recommends getting one to two hours of physical activity daily, but even just half an hour can decrease your risk considerably.

4. Eat a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet can help protect your heart by lowering your chances of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Your diet should consist primarily of:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Lean meat and fish
  • Legumes
  • Healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, etc.)
  • High-quality, minimally processed dairy

Meanwhile, you want to limit your intake of:

  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Processed carbohydrates
  • Trans fat
  • Saturated fat

Some excellent dietary plans to consider include the Mediterranean diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH).

5. Prioritize Quality Sleep

People who do not get enough sleep have an increased risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure, potentially leading to heart disease. 

Adults need at least seven hours of sleep per night. You can try to achieve this by creating a routine and going to bed at the same time each night. 

6. Get Regular Health Screenings

Regular health screenings can let you know if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or other conditions that can make you more likely to develop heart disease. 

You should get your blood pressure tested at least once a year if you have a family history of high blood pressure and once every two years if you don’t. Additionally, you should get your blood cholesterol tested every four years, starting at age 20. 

If you have risk factors for Type II diabetes, including being overweight or having a family history of the disease, you can seek early screenings for diabetes. Otherwise, you can start getting them at age 45.

7. Manage Your Conditions

If you have conditions that can increase your risk of heart disease, it is imperative to get them under control. Speak with your physician to put together an appropriate treatment plan and follow their guidance on diet and other lifestyle factors. 

Keep Your Heart Healthy

These strategies can help you strengthen your heart and lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Regular screenings are crucial, as they allow you to take the necessary corrective steps if you develop a condition like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or Type II diabetes.

Take care of your heart and it will take care of you. Call the cardiologists at Cardiovascular Wellness in Hicksville and Lake Success, New York, to schedule a consultation.

Posted in: Heart Disease

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