Heart disease prevention is of prime importance in the United States, since heart disease is our leading cause of death. It is also a major cause of disabi…
Heart disease prevention is of prime importance in the United States, since heart disease is our leading cause of death. It is also a major cause of disability, costing many people their jobs and their freedom.
Heart disease prevention becomes especially important as you age. Men who have passed age 45, and women who have passed age 55, are at far greater risk than younger people. If you have a family history of heart disease, your risks increase again. If you are genetically predisposed to build-ups of cholesterol deposits, the risks are even greater.
All of this sounds like a losing battle, but there are things you can do. Heart disease prevention measures can be taken.
Heart Disease Prevention Tips
There are no guarantees when it comes to heart disease, but if you follow the tips below, you will be doing much to reduce your risks of dying from this disease. This information is for educational purposes only, however, and the reader should seek advice from a medical professional.
1. Weight: You have no doubt heard that you should maintain a healthy weight as a matter of heart disease prevention. Excess weight causes the heart to work harder, putting stress on this vital muscle. It is important to learn what a healthy weight is, given your height, age, and gender. Then take steps to reach and maintain that weight. The weight loss business is huge in America, so you will find plenty of help. Ask your doctor for advice before you begin a diet, though.
2. Exercise: The second most common means of heart disease prevention is physical exercise. The heart is a muscle. As such, it can be strengthened through regular exercise. Exercise should be guided by your health care provider, but it should not be avoided unless other medical concerns prevent it. Exercise will send vital, health-giving oxygen to your heart. You should have regular exercise each day, walking or jogging if possible. In addition, train yourself to park farther from the door; take stairs instead of elevators and escalators; get off the bus one or two stops before you must, and walk the last few blocks. Heart disease prevention can often be a matter of changing a few habits.
3. Smoking: If you smoke tobacco, you should stop immediately. This relatively easy form of heart disease prevention can be done readily. Although many people claim addiction requiring medical intervention, studies show that 90% of those who quit smoking do it on their own, without medical help. I have personally seen individuals make a single decision, and never smoke again.
4. Healthy Eating: If you name this form of heart disease prevention a diet, chances are you will rebel inwardly. Nobody likes to diet. You should, however, adopt a healthy way of eating. Load the menu with fresh fruits and vegetables, leaving less room for fatty meats and sweets. Avoid junk foods like potato chips and corn chips. Refuse the candy bars, and have a health bar instead.
5. Blood Pressure: Many people find that they have elevated blood pressure levels as they get older. It is important to find out what your blood pressure is, and take any steps necessary to get it under control and keep it there. High blood pressure creates another unnecessary demand on your heart. Your physician may prescribe medication to lower your blood pressure. In addition, you may want to increase your potassium intake, lose weight, and exercise. Normal blood pressure is important to heart disease prevention.
6. Diabetes: Ask your physician to test you for diabetes. Diabetes also is a risk for heart disease, but it can be controlled. If you have it, follow your doctor’s advice in every way. Diabetes greatly increases your risks of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.
7. Cholesterol: It is widely accepted in medical circles that high cholesterol levels, especially high LDL cholesterol levels, put you at further risk for heart disease. Cholesterol levels can be reduced. Your physician may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering drug. In addition, you will want to do your part for heart disease prevention. When shopping, choose low fat dairy products and cheese instead of richer options. Trim the fat from meat before you cook it. If it isn’t on your plate, you will not eat it.
These 7 heart disease prevention steps can make a big difference in your life. They may, in fact, extend your life. Discuss them with your doctor, and enlist your family’s support in following them.