Heart disease is the leading killer in the United States, for both men and women. Over one-third of Americans have two or more risk factors for developing heart disease. These risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. While it is true that some people have a genetic predisposition for heart disease, people can take simple steps in changing parts of their lives to the betterment of their health and to ultimately prevent this silent killer disease.
Here are some of the ways in which you can prevent heart disease:
- Cut out as much stress in your life as you can. Recognize what is stressing you out, compartmentalize this stress, and find activities that de-stress you, such as exercise, yoga, or meditation.
- Eat clean. Don’t go for the quick fix to your hunger pangs by heading to the nearest fast food joint. Instead of having a greasy, preservative-loaded burger, go for fruits, vegetables, and lean protein foods such as fish, nuts, or tofu.
- Get leaner. If you’re overweight, your heart is having to work harder than it should. Cut your weight down to the appropriate number
- If you smoke, then quit. Smoking is as damaging to your heart as it is to your lungs.
- Exercise for fun, not just because you feel like you have to. You are more likely to be active if the activity you choose to do is fun to you. So if playing tennis sounds more fun to you than hopping onto the treadmill, get involved with a tennis club.
Remember to consult your doctor. Make sure you don’t miss your annual wellness exam each year. Inform your doctor of any concerns you may have regarding your heart, and ask for his or her advice on preventative measures. Your doctor can help you focus on developing healthy habits for heart disease prevention like the five strategies we’ve listed above. Your doctor can also help you figure out if your family’s medical history puts you at higher risk and may also let you know if there’s anything else you should or should not be doing to keep the chances of developing heart disease at bay.