Heart disease is a leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. According to the American Heart Association 1 in 3 women are diagnosed with heart disease annually. Understanding your risk factors and taking preventative steps to living with heart health in mind can greatly improve your overall well being. It can also decrease your risk of developing heart disease.
It is very important to identify your personal risk factors. Some of the most notable risk factors for heart disease include: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, being overweight, smoking, lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating habits and family history. Some of these factors unfortunately are genetic and cannot be changed. This makes it even more important to take steps in the right direction with the factors that can be controlled.
Developing healthy habits like working out, eating mindfully, limiting and managing stress, and getting good quality sleep will help decrease the risk of developing heart disease. It will help you live a healthy lifestyle.
A healthy diet should start with whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Protein rich options such as nuts, legumes, eggs and lean meats are great options as well. It is important to aim to limit your sodium intake, saturated fats, trans fats and added sugars. Choosing nutritious foods will fuel your body, help maintain a healthy weight, and help maintain cholesterol.
Physical activity has a wide range of benefits including increasing fitness level, losing weight, lowering stress levels, improving mental health and lowering risk for developing many diseases. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommend that adults aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate activity each week or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activity each week.
Did you know that while you sleep your body is at work repairing your heart and blood vessels? Sleep is the body’s time to recharge and support your growth, immune system and maintain your hormone balance. Getting the right amount of sleep will help your body and brain. Additionally, it will aid in reducing your risk of heart disease, obesity, stroke and diabetes. Adults should always aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep for a healthy lifestyle.
These steps will help increase your overall health and fitness in everyday life. It will help reduce your risk for developing heart disease. Other important habits include visiting the doctor regularly, managing your stress levels and no smoking. Keeping this information in mind and practicing these habits will help increase your lifespan and quality of life.