If you have heart disease, then you may have experienced increased worry, stress, or caution when making most decisions. Individuals that have increased risks for heart disease are not alone since heart health issues are extremely prevalent across the U.S.
Research funded by the American Heart Association found that cardiovascular disease and heart health issues account for 836,546 deaths annually while roughly 2,300 Americans die of a cardiovascular disease every day. Furthermore, nearly 92.1 million Americans are living with some form of heart complications of the after-effects of stroke.
Thankfully, having heart disease doesn’t mean that you can’t live a happy and relatively low-stress lifestyle. Most patients with heart disease or increased risks can proactively make lifestyle changes and monitor risk factors that allow them to enjoy their lives as they see fit.
So what are some of the key lifestyle changes and risk factors to manage for heart disease?
Diet and exercise are significant factors in reducing heart disease risks
Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine are some of the key factors in reducing your risks for heart disease.
Both a healthy diet and recommended exercise levels help lower obesity, blood pressure, cholesterol, and other conditions that increase heart disease risks. Ask your doctor or a medical professional about ways to jump start a healthier diet.
Additionally, make sure you are eating your daily recommended intake of fruits, vegetables, poultry, whole grains, or any other dietary recommendations.
If you don’t have an exercise routine established yet, try incorporating basic activities based on American Heart Association guidelines. Individuals with a sedentary lifestyle should start with at least 150 minutes a day of moderate-intensity activity including brisk walking, jogging, and mild biking.
Avoid high-fat foods, drugs, and alcohol to lower heart attack and disease risks
As mentioned above, dieting and making necessary dietary changes can help reduce heart disease risks. But removing unhealthy foods from your diet is just as important as adding healthy ones. Avoid or reduce consumption of foods such as red meats, fried foods, high-fat meat and dairy products, and foods that contain lots of sodium.
However, reducing unhealthy foods is not the only way to reduce heart disease risks. Make sure that you also limit alcohol consumption and quit smoking. Both alcohol and tobacco use are key drivers of advanced coronary disease.
Monitor blood pressure and cholesterol routinely
Even individuals that live a healthy life should also make sure to screen their blood pressure and cholesterol routinely, in order to evaluate heart disease risks.
Both hypertension and high cholesterol don’t have visible symptoms, which can gradually manifest into heart disease without a screening. Most individuals get a screening at least once a year during their annual physical.
However, if you have other significant risk factors for heart disease then make sure to visit a nearby provider for a screening. Most healthcare experts can make necessary treatment recommendations based on your blood pressure or cholesterol level.
Heart disease risks can be easily managed with a little time and a lot of commitment to healthy lifestyle changes!