Five Simple Strategies to Prevent Heart Disease

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You know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, but did you know that it’s preventable?

Although you can’t change genetic risk factors, like family history, age and race, there are steps you can take to protect your heart while improving your overall health and wellness.

Know it by your heart
Prevent heart disease by following a healthy lifestyle with this five prevention tips to get you started, lower your risk and help you feel years younger. And remember, always consult your doctor to discuss the best plan for your personal health.

Don’t smoke or use tobacco products
When it comes to heart disease prevention, no amount of smoking is safe. Smokeless tobacco and low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes also put you at risk, as does exposure to secondhand smoke and the effect on your lungs can cause a multitude of medical conditions. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,800 chemicals, which can damage your heart and blood vessels, making them more vulnerable to narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and ultimately lead to a heart attack. Drop your risk of heart disease dramatically and start reaping the health rewards by quitting today.

Get active
You know that physically activity does a body good, but do you know how good? Routinely taking part in moderately vigorous physical activity reduces your risk of fatal heart disease by nearly a quarter, plus get even more benefits by combining this activity with healthy weight maintenance. regular physical activity helps prevent heart disease by increasing blood flow to your heart and strengthening your heart’s contractions so that it pumps more blood with less effort. It can also helps to control you weight and can reduce your chances of developing other heart-straining conditions, like high-blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Eat a heart-healthy diet
Consistently eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products can help protect your heart, along with low-fat protein and fish. Limit your take of saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fat, as they increase the risk of coronary artery disease by raising blood cholesterol levels. Limit your alcohol consumption – no more than two drinks a day for men, one a day for women. At that moderate level, alcohol can actually have a protective effect on your heart and larger amounts can lead to higher blood pressure and much more.

Maintain a healthy weight
Adult weight gain is mostly fatty tissue and can lead to conditions that increases your chances of heart disease, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Not sure if you are at healthy weight? Waist circumference is a great tool to assess abdominal fat. In general, men are consider overweight if their measurement is greater than 35 inches. Even small waist reductions can be very beneficial. just losing 10% of your weight can decrease your blood pressure, lower your blood cholesterol level reduce your risk of diabetes.

Get regular check ups
Connect with your doctor for your regular blood pressure and cholesterol screenings. High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage your cardiovascular system, including your heart.

Blood pressure: Have your blood pressure checked at least every two years. You may need more frequent checks if your numbers aren’t optimal or if you have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury.

Cholesterol levels: Get your cholesterol checked at least once every five years – test more frequently if your numbers aren’t optimal or if you have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Some children may need their blood cholesterol tested if they have a strong family history of heart disease.

Prevention pays
Heart disease is often avoidable. Following a heart-healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t mean you need to live a life of self-deprivation. Instead, find ways to incorporate heart-healthy habits into your lifestyle – and you’ll enjoy a healthier life for years to come.

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