How’s your heart going? The answer is more important than you may realize. Heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women in the World. And 37% of American adults have two or more risk factors for developing heart diseases. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Some of us are born with a genetic predisposition to heart disease. But that doesn’t mean it’s inevitable. You can use some Strategies for Heart Disease Prevention in many ways.
Here are some time-tested strategies for Heart Disease Prevention.
1. Don’t smoke or use tobacco
One of the greatest things you can do for the heart is to stop smoking or smoking tobacco. Even if you’re not a smoker, ensure to avoid second-hand smoke
Tobacco chemicals could even damage your heart and blood vessels. Cigarette smoke reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. This raises your blood pressure and heart rate. It is because your heart has to work harder to supply enough oxygen to the body and brain.
There is good news, though. Your risk of heart disease begins to drop as little as a day after you quit. After a year without a cigarette, your risk of heart disease drops to about half that of a smoker. No matter how long or how much you smoked, you’re going to start reaping the rewards as soon as you quit.
2. Eat a heart-healthy diet
Healthy diets can help protect your heart, improve your blood pressure and cholesterol, and decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes. The heart-healthy food plan includes:
- Vegetables and fruit
- Beans or other vegetables
- Lean meat and fish
- Low-fat or fat-free dairy foods
- Whole grain
- Healthy fat, such as olive oil
Two examples of heart-healthy meal plans include the Dietary Approaches to Prevent Hypertension (DASH) food plan and the Mediterranean diet.
Limit the following intake:
- Processed carbohydrates
- Saturated fat (found in red meat and dairy products) and trans fat (found in fried fast food, chips, baked goods)
3. Exercise regularly
The American Heart Association suggests 30 minutes of physical exercise every day of the week. Staying fit can keep improving your heart’s health in many ways, such as:
- Helping lower blood pressure
- Weight control
- Lowering cholesterol
- Controlling blood sugar
- Even reducing stress
Have fun going to a gym class or getting a friend to work out or walk with you. You’re more likely to be consistent in that way. And if there are days when it seems difficult to fit in half an hour, break it into shorter intervals. You can have a 10-minute walk in the morning, another at lunchtime, and then in the night. A simple way to do this by making exercise part of your routine, such as parking further away from the building entrance so that you can walk a few more steps or get up to talk to a co-worker instead of sending an email.
4. Manage stress
Stress is related to heart disease in many ways. It might increase your blood pressure. Extreme stress can be a cause for a heart attack. Some common ways to deal with stress, such as heavy drinking, and smoking, are bad for the heart. Some of the ways you can help manage your stress include exercise, playing music. Focus on something calm or peaceful and practice yoga.
5. Manage diabetes and hence prevent risk to heart disease
Your risk of diabetic heart disease is double that you have diabetes. This is because, over time, high blood sugar from diabetes can damage your blood vessels. It can also damage the nerves that control your heart and blood vessels. So, it’s important to diagnose for diabetes, and if you have it, keep it under control.
6. Make sure you get enough sleep
You increase the chances of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes if you don’t get enough sleep. These three things could increase your risk of heart disease. Most people need to sleep between 7 and 9 hours a night. Make sure you’ve got good sleeping habits. If you have regular sleep problems, please contact your health care provider. One problem, sleep apnea, induces people to stop breathing many times suddenly during sleep. This interferes with your ability to have a good rest and may increase your risk of heart disease. If you think you might have it, ask your doctor about a sleep study. And if you have apnea sleeping, make sure you get treatment for it.
7. Know the history of your family
Shakedown your family tree to learn about your heart’s health. Having a relative with a heart problem increases your risk, and more so if a relative is a parent or a sibling.
This means that you need to concentrate on risk factors. You can manage them by keeping a healthy weight, exercising daily, not smoking.
Often, keep the doctor informed of any heart issues you may have with your family.
8. Know your risk
If you are between 40 and 75 years of age and have never had a heart attack or stroke, please visit the doctor. Calculate to predict the probability of experiencing a cardiovascular event over the next 10 years. Certain factors may increase the risk, such as smoking, kidney disease, or family history. Knowing your risk factors will allow you and your health care provider to decide on the right recovery option for you. With lifestyle changes, many risk factors can be changed.
9. Get regular health checkups
High blood pressure and high cholesterol can affect your heart and blood vessels. But you certainly won’t know if you have these disorders without testing for them. Daily screening can inform you what your numbers are and whether you need to respond.
Regular blood pressure checks usually begin in childhood. Starting at age 18, the blood pressure should be measured at least once every two years to identify high blood pressure as a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
If you are between 18 and 39 years of age and have high blood pressure risk factors, you are likely to be tested once a year. People aged 40 and over are also given a blood pressure test every year.
The cholesterol level.
Adults generally have their cholesterol measured at least every four to six years. Cholesterol screening usually begins at age 20. But early tests may be recommended if you have other risk factors.
Type 2 Diabetes screening
Diabetes is a risk factor for cardiac disease. If you have risk factors for diabetes, such as for overweight or a family history of diabetes, your doctor may prescribe early screening. If your weight is normal and you do not have any other risk factors for type 2 diabetes, screening is advised starting at age 45, with retesting every three years.
The Bottom Line
Healthy living is the easiest way for heart disease prevention. This includes being active and fit, eating well, avoiding tobacco, and managing illnesses. Take care of your health. Be sure you take your medicine as prescribed by your doctor and follow a healthy lifestyle plan. And also follow these Strategies for Heart Disease Prevention.