Globally, heart disease has caused several deaths, but it’s not inevitable. There are many heart disease prevention strategies you can adopt to reduce your risk of heart disease. These heart disease prevention tips will give you a healthy lifestyle and reduce your chances of developing heart disease. Heart disease is one of the debilitating conditions for many Americans. According to the center for disease control and prevention (CDC), heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States. Some risk factors make some people prone to heart disease. The risk factors can either be modifiable or non-modifiable. However, modifiable risk factors are those risks you can control, such as body weight. While non – modifiable risk factors are factors you can’t influence, such as genetics.
A healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce your chance of heart disease.
What do we mean by a healthy lifestyle?
- Quit smoking if you smoke
- Regular health screening
- Managing blood pressure
- Stress management
- Managing diabetes if you have diabetes
Below are some heart disease prevention strategies you can adopt today.
If you smoke or are addicted to smoking, the best thing you can do for your health is stop smoking or using smokeless tobacco. Even if you don’t smoke, you should be careful to avoid secondhand smoke. Smoking tobacco is harmful and dangerous to your health. Why? Because chemicals in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels.
Smoking cigarettes reduces the oxygen in your body. As a result, your heart rate and blood pressure increase excessively because the heart has to work much harder to supply enough oxygen to the brain and other parts of the body.
However, there is good news for you. Your risk of developing heart disease begins to drop in as little as a day after quitting. After a while, or approximately after a year without smoking, your risk of heart disease drops to about half that of a smoker. However, the fact remains that, no matter how long or how much you smoke, you will start reaping as soon as you quit.
One of the vital factors in lowering your blood pressure and preventing heart disease is exercising and maintaining a healthy weight. Experts recommend getting at least some 30 minutes of exercise per day or 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week. However, doing exercise doesn’t have to be intensive. The key is to stay active.
Furthermore, as earlier said, the main goal of exercise is maintaining a healthy weight. To balance your caloric intake, there must be a certain amount of exercise you must get. Keeping a healthy weight helps you lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk for other complications.
One of the serious risks of heart disease is diabetes. Diabetes has harmful effects on different organs in your body when left untreated. Besides that, it can result in peripheral artery disease, stroke, and some other complicated conditions. If you are a diabetes patient, one thing that you must ensure to do is to manage your condition to prevent heart disease.
However, there are preventive measures of heart disease for people with diabetes, which includes;
- Getting a regular checkup from your doctor
- Eating a healthy diet
In addition, you can limit the effect of diabetes and reduce your risk of heart disease by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Getting regular health screening
Regular checkup of health status helps in reducing the risk of heart disease. High cholesterol and high blood pressure have the tendency to damage the heart and blood vessels. The ignorance of not testing for them makes you unaware if you have these conditions. Regular checkups/screening can tell you what your numbers are and where you need to take action.
- Cholesterol levels: Cholesterol levels usually start at age 20, though earlier testing may be recommended in situations where you have other risk factors, such as a family history of early-onset heart disease.
- Blood pressure: Regular blood pressure screening usually starts in childhood. Health-wise, it is advisable starting at age 18, you should do a blood pressure test at least once in two years to screen for high blood pressure as a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Moreover, if you are between age 18 and 39 and have a risk factor for high blood pressure, you are advised to be screened once a year. People aged 40 and older also are given a blood pressure test manually.
Finally, if you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, your doctor may prescribe medications and recommend lifestyle changes. Make sure to take these medications as prescribed and adopt these heart disease prevention strategies.