Heart disease is an issue that nobody wants to deal with, unfortunately, in the United States today, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women.
If you are worried that you may develop heart disease, or you just want to do everything that you can to keep your heart healthy and reduce the risk of having a heart attack down the road, then today you are in luck as we will be going over the different ways you can take care of your heart health to reduce your risk of heart disease.
What is Heart Disease?
When heart disease is discussed, it is normally in reference to coronary heart disease (CHD) also known as coronary artery disease (CAD).
This is the most common type of heart disease in people.
Someone who has coronary heart disease has it because the coronary arteries (tubes) which are tasked with taking blood to the heart, have become narrow or blocked.
The cause of this problem is cholesterol and fatty tissue build-up inside the arteries, this is also referred to as plaque.
There are numerous reasons why cardiovascular disease can occur in someone.
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar levels (diabetes)
A blocked artery will cause chest pain which can lead to a heart attack.
Are You at Risk of Heart Disease?
Heart disease can happen to anyone, but you have an increased risk if you also have:
- High cholesterol and blood pressure (drinking too much alcohol can contribute to this)
- You smoke
- You are not a healthy weight and are overweight or obese
- Do not get enough physical activity
- You do not have a healthy diet
Not only are these risk factors that you have to take into account but your genetics, age, and family history can also play a part in you developing heart disease.
- Being a woman over 55 years old
- Being a man over 45 years old
- Your father or brother had heart disease before age 55, and 65 for mothers and sisters
Luckily, even if you are at risk of heart disease, there are still ways you can reduce this potential outcome, but you need to stick to it and make sure that you are doing everything possible to help your body be healthy.
If you have a major risk factor such as high blood pressure, then you will need to be monitored by a doctor to ensure that you are doing everything possible to keep your heart healthy and safe.
This means having your blood pressure checked regularly and seeing how you can manage stress in the best way possible through the advice of your doctor.
10 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Now that we have gone over how you may be at risk of heart disease, it is time to talk about some solutions to help your heart keep ticking over for the benefit of you and your family
Manage Stress Effectively
High-stress levels will cause your blood pressure to go up as well as your breathing rate and heart rate.
Being chronically stressed with other factors can actually cause you to have a heart attack, so you will need to find ways you can manage stress in a manner that calms you down properly and stops you from reacting too severely.
Start with doing meditation, deep breathing, keeping a journal, going out for some breathing space, and seeing family and friends.
Anything that you can do to support your body and stop your stress levels from rising to potentially dangerous heights.
Be Mindful of Your Weight
How much you weigh can also have an impact on your heart, and as you well know, being overweight or obese will put a strain on your heart as well as your other organs, so not only are you helping your heart but you are helping your entire body.
Exercise on a Regular Basis
You don’t need to do strenuous physical activity daily, just simply going for a walk can prove to be highly beneficial for you and your heart.
Walking, biking, swimming, running, dancing, etc., any form of cardio that will get your heart rate up and raise your fitness levels.
Smoking brings with it a lot of horrible effects that have no redeemable qualities. Quitting smoking will help not only with your heart but it will also save you a lot of money.
It is hard to quit cold turkey, so you may want to enlist the help of your doctor who can put you on a plan that works for you and your lifestyle.
Keep an Eye on Your Cholesterol Levels
Your arteries will get clogged with high levels of cholesterol in your system, so be aware of what you can do to keep it at a safe level and research different foods that can help contribute to this as well as speak with your doctor about potential medication.
Know What Your Current Blood Pressure Is
Have your blood pressure checked at least once a year to keep on top of your levels and see if you can track what is going on so you are aware of what is going on inside your body.
There is medication that can be prescribed to people who have high blood pressure, but it is not a miracle cure and will need effort from you to have it work.
You will have to change your eating habits as well as your consumption of alcohol and fitness levels to have it work effectively for you.
Don’t Overeat Bad Foods
Be aware of what foods you are eating and ensure that they are nutritious and the best for you.
That is not saying that you have to cut out ‘junk’ food entirely, unless you are seriously overweight, but it does mean that you have to be incredibly mindful of what you put in your body so that you are not tempting fate with your heart and health.
Get Your Recommended Amount of Sleep Each Night
Sleep is incredibly important in keeping our bodies functioning properly, so if you do not have a good night’s sleep then you will have to make changes to your schedule to ensure that you are able to.
Seven to nine hours of sleep is recommended, and if you are not hitting that right now then you will be feeling the effects, you just haven’t noticed it too much at the moment.
Always Get Your Recommended Shots for Flu Season
Flu has been linked to increased heart attacks and strokes.
Make sure that you get your shot when it is available to you and always get updated shots for any other illnesses that are flying around at different seasons.
Check-in With Your Doctor Regularly
To stay healthy, you will want to see your primary care physician when needed.
They can conduct tests and see if you are at risk of any diseases and what can be done to lower your risk.
They can prescribe medication and show you ways that you can change your lifestyle to keep you healthy.
They are the experts so listen to what they have to say, it does matter and it will help you out.
After reading through these 10 ways to keep your heart healthy, you should be a lot more aware of what the risks are and how important it is for you to make a change in your life so you do not open yourself up for other diseases.