As February is American Heart Month, we at AllCare Medical Centers thought it would be a great time to talk about the importance of heart health. Unfortunately, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide with 85% of those deaths attributed to heart attacks or strokes.
The importance of this topic cannot be understated. With this in mind, let’s talk about some of the ways you can minimize your chances of experiencing heath disease.
Get Regular Physical Activity
One of the most important actions you can take to prevent heart disease is exercising. The American Heart Association’s (AHA) recommendation is to get at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week. Aerobic exercise lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, and lowers artery-clogging LDL cholesterol, while also helping a person achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
This focus on exercise goes hand-in-hand with the importance of eating a heart-healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight. Choosing to eat a healthy diet can not only prevent heart disease but can even reverse some of the damage! The AHA recommends limiting foods high in saturated fat, sodium, and trans fat. In addition, it is important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, nuts and seeds, legumes, and heart-healthy olives such as olive oil.
If you are currently a smoker (including vaping), it is imperative to your heart health that you stop smoking. Furthermore, try to avoid being around secondhand smoke as well. Smoking can increase your risk for heart attacks while also worsening other risk factors for heart disease. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about products or programs available to help you.
Manage Blood Pressure
Keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level helps support your heart health. High blood pressure (hypertension)can cause massive damage to your heart, blood vessels, and arteries. It is important to have your blood pressure checked on a consistent basis. If your doctor discovers that your blood pressure is consistently high, he or she will work with you to help you lower it with lifestyle changes and, if needed, medications.
Ready to Improve Your Heart Health?
If you are ready to improve your heart health, we at AllCare Medical Centers are ready to partner with you as you start on this lifesaving journey. We will help you assess your risk factors for heart disease, order blood tests to check your cholesterol and sugar levels, check your blood pressure, and give you a plan to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Schedule a preventative checkup today.