Be Smart About Heart Health
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women. Fortunately, for many people, heart disease can be preventable and controllable. Even men and women who are at high risk due to family history or other factors can help lower their risk now by changing a few of their daily habits.
The key to prevention is making healthy lifestyle choices now. By adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle, you can significantly decrease your risk of heart disease and heart attack.
Here are 5 easy tips to help you lower your risk of developing heart disease:
1. Eat healthy foods.
Choosing healthy meals and snack options can help you and your family avoid heart related issues in the future. Make sure your diet consists of at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables and avoid foods that are high in saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and cholesterol.
2. Get regular exercise.
Exercising regularly can help you maintain a healthy body and weight, as well as lower your cholesterol and blood pressure. The average adult should have at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every day.
3. Maintain a healthy weight.
Reducing and/or controlling your weight can decrease your risk for heart disease.
4. Don’t smoke.
Smoking cigarettes can cause more than just lung cancer. It can also greatly increase your risk of heart disease. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do, quit now. There are many programs and support groups that can help you or your loved one kick the habit.
5. Monitor your blood pressure.
High blood pressure can occur without any symptoms, so check your blood pressure on a regular basis. You can do so at home, at your doctor’s office, or even at many pharmacies.
You can also supplement your heart-healthy lifestyle with a visit to a general cardiologist. A cardiologist can help you with a variety of approaches to fighting heart disease, including regular screenings for high blood pressure and normal heart function, as well as lifestyle changes.
If you’d like to learn more about heart healthy lifestyle choices, or would like to request an appointment with the UCSD Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center here at North Coast Health Center, visit www.heart.ucsd.edu.