Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women? According to the CDC, approximately 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year– that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. The most significant risk factors include: smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. So what is the good news? While there are genetically associated risk factors, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of heart disease overall. These measures include quitting smoking, exercising regularly, eating better, taking care of diabetes, and reducing your stress level.
Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
To reduce your risk of heart disease, take responsibility for your health and wellness and be mindful of the following:
- Quit smoking immediately: If you smoke – quit now. If you continue to smoke you will directly cause buildup of fatty substances in your arteries.
- Get regular exercise: Establish a workout schedule that includes 20 minutes (minimum) of exercise a day. This can be done by walking, running, or going to the gym. Learn more about the best places to exercise here.
- Eat a heart healthy diet: Eat foods that are low in fat, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. This can also help you regulate your choleric intake, reduce your waistline, lower blood pressure, and decrease your cholesterol levels- all of which impact your risk of heart disease. Also make sure to reduce the amount of sodium in your diet and limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
- Take care of your diabetes: If you have diabetes, you need to pay close attention since diabetes causes inflammation of blood vessels and results in more plaque-forming cholesterol.
- Reduce your stress: Find ways to bring your stress level down that work for you. Give yourself ‘me’ time to focus your energy on positive thoughts and bring your blood pressure down.
Work with your physician to create a plan that targets your high-risk areas and start reducing your risk of heart disease today.