Simple Heart-Healthy Lifestyle Changes You Can Make Today
Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US? The heart is connected to everything in your body and requires training and care to keep fit, just like your other muscles. Maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle is easily achieved with a few simple habits.
What is Heart Disease?
The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions, including issues that affect blood vessels, heart rhythm, defects, valves, or muscle. The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease, which develops when the blood vessels that supply the heart become damaged or diseased. Heart disease can cause major health risks like heart attacks, arrhythmia, or heart failure.
Who is at Risk?
Your risk of developing heart disease is dependent on many factors. You may be at a higher risk if you:
- Have high blood pressure
- Have high blood cholesterol
- Are overweight or obese
- Have prediabetes or diabetes
- Smoke or vape
- Live a sedentary lifestyle
- Have a family history of heart disease
- Have a history of preeclampsia
- Old age
How to Live a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle
While you can’t change certain risk factors like age and family history, you can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Living a heart-healthy lifestyle is your best defense against heart disease; here are some simple ways to protect your heart:
We know it’s tough, but smoking puts your heart health at great risk. We’re here to help if you need it.
Exercise every day:
Try to get in 30 minutes of activity most days of the week. It doesn’t need to be excessive to be effective, even a walk around the block can help reduce your risk of heart disease.
Choose good nutrition:
The food you eat can combat many heart disease risk factors. Choose nutrient-rich foods that have greater vitamins, minerals, and fiber but are low in calories.
Stress causes strain on the heart, which creates a higher risk for heart disease. Read more about how stress affects the body and ways to decrease it.
Alcohol can raise blood pressure, which contributes to your overall risk of developing heart disease. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends alcohol consumption be limited to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
With every action you take to protect your heart, you're also boosting your overall health. These simple changes can make an impact on your life expectancy and quality of life. If you have any of the risk factors listed or are concerned about your heart health, get tested to see if you’re at risk for a heart attack, or get in touch with your primary health provider.