One of the leading causes of death in many places today is heart disease, with hundreds of thousands of resulting deaths reported every year. The narrowing of coronary arteries that supply blood, nutrients, and oxygen to the heart, which impedes the process, often causes it. Just because it is one of the leading death causes doesn’t mean that there is nothing that can be done to prevent it from becoming your fate. Here are some ways of reducing the risk of you getting heart disease:
Do not smoke
It is common knowledge that smoking can lead to lung cancer, but a smoker has more chances of having a heart attack than they do of developing cancer of the lungs. The nicotine in cigarettes makes the blood vessels clamp down and narrow, forcing the heart muscles to pump that much harder to pass blood through narrow vessels. The nicotine also affects the lining of the vessels and causes accumulation of fat and calcium on the walls. The carbon monoxide in the smoke also limits the amount of oxygen intake in the tissues, leading to the lungs straining and causing further stress on the heart. If you are a smoker, now would be a good time to quit to give some relief to your heart.
Maintain a healthy weight
Obesity is a significant contributor to cardiovascular disease, and having a sedentary lifestyle is also a risk factor for heart disease. Being overweight increases your chances of getting heart disease since it is associated with cholesterol buildup, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Even a small loss of weight can make a significant impact on your health, reducing your blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol levels which are all risk factors for heart disease. A health professional in cardiac services can inform you of your risk through your body mass index and advise you accordingly.
People that are more physically active are less likely to get heart disease compared to those that are not. So exercise, especially cardio, is highly encouraged. Small lifestyle changes can go a long way in keeping you healthy; moderate or intense physical activity can reduce your risk of stroke, diabetes, and, thus, heart disease. Walk a lot more than you do, take the stairs instead of the elevator sometimes, begin moderate exercises like aerobics, especially if you have been inactive before to build endurance for your heart muscles and reduce risks of a heart disease. Consult your physician before you start a new exercise regimen to understand what works for you rather than going in blindly.
Diets with low saturated fats, rich in vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and fibre protect your heart from failure and keep you healthy. Avoid a lot of salt and sugar in your diet, along with saturated and trans fats coming from red meat, dairy products, deep-fried fast foods, packaged foods and snacks, and alcohol. These should only be consumed in moderation to reduce the chances of heart disease.
Poorly managed stress can have adverse effects on your health, from high blood pressure to coronary disease and heart disease. Try healthy stress management techniques like meditation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques to manage your stress levels and relax, which can protect your heart.
If you are worried about your chances for heart disease, drop in at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Private Health Care Facility, who will attend to you with utmost care and with the best cardio professionals.