Approximately 610,000 people in the United States die from heart disease each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This means heart disease is responsible for about one in four deaths in the nation and is the leading cause of death.
Certain risk factors increase the likelihood that you will develop heart disease. Some of these risk factors are out of your control. Having a family history of heart disease increases your risk for cardiovascular problems, for example. Fortunately, many of the risk factors for heart disease are modifiable, which means you can change them. Some of these risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, having diabetes, and being overweight.
You can change these risk factors through lifestyle choices and improve the health of your heart. These lifestyle changes can also improve your overall health and well-being.
5 Lifestyle Changes You Can Make for a Healthier Heart
Aim for a healthy weight
Obesity puts you at increased risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and resistance to insulin. The higher your body mass index (BMI), the higher your risk of heart disease. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides a table to help you determine your BMI.
Eating a healthy diet is one of the best steps you can take toward having a healthy heart. The types and amounts of food you eat can influence other modifiable risk factors for heart disease. Choose a nutrient-rich, low-calorie diet that focuses on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and avoids sweets and red meats.
Be physically active every day
Get up and move every day. Engaging in three to four 40-minute exercise sessions per week can help lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and help you maintain a healthy weight.
Smoking damages the lining of your arteries, which can lead to the buildup of a fatty plaque and narrow the arteries. This can restrict the amount of blood flowing through the arteries, which can lead to heart attack, chest pain known as angina, and stroke.
Get checked out
Undergo regular doctor appointments and cardiovascular screening. Going to the doctor regularly gives your health care provider an opportunity to measure your blood pressure and cholesterol and to detect and treat heart disease early, before it becomes a big problem.
You can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease by eating well, exercising, and improving a few daily habits. For more information about steps you can take for a healthy heart, speak with a healthcare professional and contact Virtual Imaging, Inc. today.