Today, heart disease is considered one of the leading causes of death among men and women in the United States. Fortunately, there are a few ways to reduce risk of heart disease and that includes a few lifestyle changes.
Now, why does it matter to make a lifestyle change to prevent heart disease?
For those who are not yet aware of it, heart disease is a general term that people use to refer to various ailments that mainly affect the heart, such as congenital heart disease, heart failure, coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease, among others. And there are several factors that increase the risk and trigger heart disease. These includes:
- unhealthy lifestyles
- poor eating habits
- too much bad cholesterol
- lack of exercise
You should avoid getting involved in any of these factors in order to keep your heart in good condition. Here are four easy tips that can help to protect you from heart disease:
Being a couch potato or living a sedentary lifestyle exposes you to the risk of getting a heart disease especially as you get older.
You need to engage in physical activities in order to strengthen your body as well as your heart and mind. It enhances circulation and it invigorates your body and brain cells with oxygenated blood, making you strong, flexible and resistant to stress and diseases.
Aside from these, regular exercise also aids in lowering blood pressure and helps maintain your weight. It also supports the increase of good cholesterol in the body which lowers the risk of heart disease.
Here are simple ways to exercise:
- Engage in sports like lawn tennis or badminton
- Jog your way to a healthy heart and a sense of well-being
- If your office is just a few stories up the building, take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Increase your walking distance by parking farther away from your destination
- Do house cleaning or car washing instead of hiring other people to do it
2. Avoid stress
We can all experience stress at some point in our lives, regardless of our age. People may perceive stress as a trivial issue as it is considered normal, but it actually has a significant effect on our physical and mental effects.
According to Heart.org, having chronic stress may lead to high blood pressure which is often associated with developing a heart attack. They said that it stress along with other mental health conditions could trigger negative body responses such as:
- An irregular heartbeat
- Problems with digestion
- An inflammatory response
- A decrease in heart blood flow
Stress is considered a contributing factor to heart disease. You can reduce stress by means of meditating, engaging in relaxing pastimes like painting, gardening, raising a pet, or participating in yoga.
3. Quit smoking
Smoking doubles a person’s risk of getting heart disease. If you are a smoker, you need to kick the habit as it is one of the leading causes of heart disease. It can also cause damage to your brain cells and your respiratory system.
Smokers typically develop plaques surrounding their blood vessels due to the chemical found in cigarette smoke. These chemicals can cause the blood to thicken which may block the passage inside the veins. As plaque builds up in an artery, over time this will result in lower blood flow in the heart and eventually cause heart issues.
4. Eat healthy foods that help to prevent heart diseases
Eating the right kinds of foods is one of the best ways to keep you energized and in good physical and mental health. The foods you eat in the long term are one of the determining factors of your health.
Here are some of the foods which can help to keep your heart in good health:
– Fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as tuna, mackerel and salmon;
– Poultry products that are high in protein and low in fats. These include turkey and chicken.
– Fruits such as bananas, grapefruits, apples, strawberries and apricots are high in vitamins and antioxidants. They do not contain fats that contribute to the onset of heart diseases;
– Whole grains; they contain omega-3 which is good for the heart;
– Red wine contains resveratrol which helps to prevent heart diseases by preventing the formation of blood clots and increasing the level of good cholesterol in your body.
Are you at risk for heart disease?
There are many ways of knowing if you are at risk of heart disease.
For instance, it may have to do with your lifestyle. Smoking and drinking too much alcohol or eating too much processed and fatty foods are considered risk factors for developing heart disease.
But there is actually more to this. In fact, there are other factors beyond your control that can increase your heart disease risk. Among these includes:
- Genetic factors
Although these may lead to a higher risk, always checking your blood sugar, and cholesterol level and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk. Also, keep in mind to always visit your doctor regularly. Getting an expert opinion and taking your medications is a great way to guarantee that you are safe.
A healthy heart means a happy life
Help prevent heart disease by choosing to have a healthy lifestyle. Heart disease prevention is by starting your day with regular exercise and eating the healthiest meal available to you. You should also start to avoid things that bring stress and stop smoking if you want to have a healthy heart.
Always remember that the more you ignore your overall health, the more it puts you at a higher risk of developing heart disease.